Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan set up Bangladesh to 5-wicket win
Bangladesh today created history by entering the Finals of the Asia Cup for the first time ever! By defeating Sri Lanka by 5 wickets (D/L Method), the Tigers have upset millions of Indian fans! A Bangladesh loss would have meant an entry for India into the Final but that just didn’t happen. Instead it was Bangladesh emerging as a new force to reckon with atleast in the subcontinent! The Tigers rose to the occasion perfectly with their Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina witnessing the match and a Bangladeshi victory in the stadium! Bangladesh will now take on Pakistan in the Final on the 22nd of Match.
For starters, Bangladesh’s target of 232 from 50 overs looks pretty simple. But a heavy downpour delayed the start of their innings. It took a little less than two hours for the match to resume and the target was surprisingly revised to 212 from 40 overs. Bangladesh lost 10 overs and just the 20 runs were cut from the target! It wasn’t that easy for the hosts. In the 2nd over itself, Bangladesh were shaken when opener Nazimuddin (6) got bowled through the gate by a late inswinger from Nuwan Kulasekara. There was more pressure as Jahurul Islam walked away in the 7th over when he succumbed to a short pitch delivery from Suranga Lakmal to make it 39 for 2. At this time, Tamim Iqbal was on fire getting some lovely boundaries for his side.
The hosts found themselves under huge pressure when their Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (1) played all around a full length delivery from Nuwan Kuklasekara to get bowled with the score reduced to 40 for 3 in 7.1 overs. Just when Sri Lanka was on top, came a counter attacking partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan which kept the scoreboard moving thick and fast. Once again Bangladesh got into a great position while cutting down the target quickly.
Sri Lanka had a reprieve when Tamim Iqbal (59 from 57 balls with 9 fours) edged a flashy cut off Sachithra Senanayake to backward point in the 20th over. Bangladesh at this stage were 116 for 4 with 96 more runs to win. The hosts suffered another big blow when Shakib Al Hasan (56 from 46 balls with 7 fours) went back to a full ball from the off spinner Senanayake. Shakib was hit on the backpad infront of leg by a delivery that drifted in with the arm for an lbw. The Tigers needed 77 more runs to win from 16.4 overs.
The new pair of Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah held their nerve playing their natural game to steer Bangladesh to a comfortable victory with 17 balls to spare. Nasir Hossain took his time to score an unbeaten 36 (from 61 balls with 3 fours) while Mahmudullah kept his end busy with an unbeaten 32 (from 33 balls with 3 fours). A couple of Sri Lankan pacers were bowling really poor during this partnership by often straying down the pads to give away easy runs. As a result, Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah hardly faced any trouble in wrapping up the match.
Shakib Al Hasan got his second consecutive Man of the Match in the tournament. With the ball he took two wickets and then followed it up with a crucial half century.
Bangladesh bowl out Sri Lanka for 232 to sense a maiden entry into Asia Cup Finals!
Bangladesh are having a great opportunity of walking into the Asia Cup Finals after dismissing Sri Lanka for a modest total of 232! Now its upon the Bangladeshi batsmen to come good to carry the hosts into the Asia Cup Finals for the first time ever. However, there seems to be a delay at the Shere Bangla National Stadium because of rain during the innings break! The good news though is that tomorrow is a reserve day for this match and it will continue from the point it was stopped.
Nazmul Hossain, who was playing his first match of the tournament, provided the opening for Bangladesh taking three big wickets at the top! Sri Lanka’s three big fishes – Mahela Jayawardene (bowled through the gate trying to flick an inswinger), Kumar Sangakkara (caught at extra covers driving uppishly) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (dragging a square cut onto the off stump with an inside edge) were all dismissed by the medium pacer Nazmul Hossain cheaply. The Lankans were reduced to 32 for 3 in 9.2 overs!
It was a struggle for the Lankans from that point and although they didn’t keep on losing the wickets, the run rate was just not picking up. The pair of Chamara Kapugedera and Lahiru Thirimanne was rebuilding the innings but not able to score runs freely. The pair added 88 runs for the 4th wicket before Lahiru Thirimanne got stumped out in a freakish manner down the legside. Thirimanne (48 from 73 balls with 3 fours) missed a flick down the legside off Abdur Razzak in the 32nd over and the ball had hit the Keeper’s pads and rebounded onto the stumps with the left-hander over balancing and getting dragged out of the crease.
Sri Lanka managed another steady partnership after that with Kapugedera adding 49 runs with Upul Tharanga. Just when Kapugedera (62 from 92 balls with 4 fours) was looking threatening after reaching his 8th ODI fifty, his wicket went down when a smashing drive was caught low by Shakib Al Hasan at extra covers in the 40th over. Tharanga who was batting busily lost two more partners in quick time and he himself fell in the 46th over edging a widish yorker from Shahadat Hossain to the Keeper Mushfiqur Rahim. Tharanga chipped in with 48 from 44 balls with 5 fours and a six and left the crease with Sri Lanka at 204 for 8.
The Lankans were bowled out in the final over for 232 with off spinner Sachithra Senanayake coming with a useful 19* (from 21 balls). Nazmul Hossain was the star of the Bangladeshi attack with 3 for 32 in 8 overs. His fellow new ball bowler Mashrafe Mortaza sustained the pressure with his 1 for 30 in 9.5 overs.
Toss and Teams:
Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to bowl first on an overcast afternoon at the Shere Bangla National Stadium against Sri Lanka in the final league match of the Micromax Asia Cup 2012. The weather in Dhaka is not that great and there are chances of rain. The Tigers have the advantage of chasing a target should the rain come into play. It’s a must win game for Bangladesh if they want to entertain their chances of making it to an Asia Cup Final for the first ever time!
Sri Lanka, who are out of this tournament have made two changes. Dinesh Chandimal is out with a stomach upset and gets replaced with Chamara Kapugedera. Leg Spinner Seekkuge Prasanna has been replaced with off spinner Sachithra Senanayake.
Bangladesh have made one change with Nazmul Hossain coming in for the injured Shafiul Islam.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Jahurul Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain & Wicket Keeper), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Nazmul Hossain
Sri Lanka: TM Dilshan, DPMD Jayawardene (Captain), KC Sangakkara (Wicket Keeper), CK Kapugedera, WU Tharanga, HDRL Thirimanne, KMDN Kulasekara, MF Maharoof, SMSM Senanayake, SL Malinga, RAS Lakmal