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March 5, 2024
Charith Asalanka cameo Player of the Match 44 n.o. as Sri Lanka nail Bangladesh by 3 runs in Dasun Shanaka last over drama

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 3 runs on a brilliant Player of the Match 21-ball cameo unbeaten 44 powered by 6 over the top and a boundary by acting captain Charith Asalanka that ultimately boiled down to a dramatic last over shootout to pocket the opening T20 international as former captain Dasun Shanaka held his nerve in claiming two wickets in the process at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

He accounted for the prize wicket of Jaker Ali for 68 as the hosts chased 12 off the final over whom he induced to bottom edge to acting captain Charith Asalanka at at long-off. No. 10 Shoriful Islam then hit the next delivery over extra cover and ran a leg bye that left Bangladesh needing 4 to tie it and 6 for victory off the final ball, but Shanaka sent down a perfect dot ball to give Sri Lanka a fantastic win.

Of course, the center piece playmaker to that triumph in going 1-up in the 3-match series was the gung-ho brilliance of  Asalanka whose over the top spree gathered steam was highlighted in a 17th over spurt dispatching Taskin Ahmed over wide-long-on and the next over deep square leg in a run orgy that targeted Mustafizur Rahman over deep third and taking on Shoriful Islam over cover-point for six with two more off Mustafizur in the final over.


Sri Lanka, put into bat made 206 for 3 off 20 on the top order flourish of Sadeera Samarawickrama who slammed 61 off 48 inclusive of 8 boundaries and opening batsman Kusal Mendis 59 off 36 with 6 boundaries in negating the initial hiccup when Avishka Fernando was nailed for 4 by Shariful Islam who had him held by Litton Das. Kamindu Mendis then did justice to his No.3 elevation hammering 14 off 19 inclusive of two sixes to taking 18 off the 12th over. The Kusal Mendis-Sadeera Samarawickrama third-wicket input realised 96 off 61 balls.

Bangladesh’s chase began badly losing three wickets for 30 in 4.1 overs with the first wicket of Litton Das without disturbing the scoreboard and Soumya Sarkar was sent back by Binura Fernando for 12 caught by Charith Asalanka for 12 with the score 21 after 3.1overs, and Towhid Hridoy becoming Mendis’second caught behind victim for Mathews’ second wicket.

The hosts further precipitated to 4 for 68 after 8.5 overs when Najmul Hossain Shanto, the captain was scalped by Matheesha Pathirana for 20 caught by Mathews before the innings was revived by the fifth-wicket pair of Jaker Ali and Mahmudullah who added 47 off 21 balls when the latter was dismissed by Maheesh Theekshana who had him held by Avishka Fernando. Bangladesh’s chase gathered steam by the 65=run surge off 27 between Mahedi Hasan and Jaker Ali for the sixth-wicket triggering the dramatic finish with the Lankans prevailing by the last over craft of former skipper Dasun Shanaka.


Sri Lanka 206/3 (20 Overs) RR.10.30

(Sadeera Samarawickrama 61, Charith Asalanka n.o. 44, Kamindu Mendis 19, Rishad Hossain 1/32, Taskin Ahmed 1/40, Shoriful Islam 1/47)

Bangladesh 203/8 (20 Overs) RR: 10.15

(Jaker Ali 68, Mahmudullah 54, Najmul Hossain Shanto 20, Mahedi Hasan 16, Angelo Mathews 2/17, Dasun Shanaka 2/36, Binura Fernando 2/41, Maheesh Theekshana 1/32)


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