Charith Asalanka and birthday boy Bhanuka Rajapaksa scripted one of the greatest comebacks to seal a five-wicket win for Sri Lanka over Bangladesh in its first Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup 2021.
In pursuit of 172 on a sticky Sharjah wicket, Sri Lanka was rocked by Kusal Perera’s early departure in the first over. Pathum Nissanka then paired with one drop Asalanka to put together 69 runs before Shakib Al Hasan’s twin blows in the ninth over threatened to derail the chase. Wanindu Hasaranga fell soon after, leaving Sri Lanka needing 93 runs from 62 balls.
Asalanka and Rajapaksa took the bowlers to task with an 86-run partnership that brought down the equation to 7 off 10 balls. Asalanka fittingly took his side home with the winning runs.
Inserted to bat, Bangladesh was propelled to a challenging total riding on fifties by Mohammad Naim (62 off 52) and Mushfiqur Rahim (57* off 37). The duo paired for a 73-run third wicket stand that set up Bangladesh for a challenging total. Rahim’s late flourish saw 64 runs coming in the last six overs while skipper Mahmudullah pitched in with two boundaries in the last two overs to take his team to 171/4.
For Sri Lanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando and Lahiru Kumara took a wicket apiece.
Bangladesh: 171 for 4 in 20 overs. (Mohammad Naim 62, Mushfiqur Rahim 57 not out; Chamika Karunaratne 1/12).
Sri Lanka: 172 for 5 in 18.5 overs (Charith Asalanka 80 not out, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 53).