Sri Lanka have registered a commanding victory over Bangladesh by five wickets in their first game of Group 1 during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
The Lankans chased down 172 after bowlers had a bad outing in front of Bangladesh’s batters.
Charith Asalanka was the star of the chase, scoring an unbeaten 80 while Bhanuka Rajapaksa stunned Bangladesh with aggressive knock.
Asalanka crafts impressive knock
The left-hander looked in complete command during the chase after Kusal Perera fell cheaply.
He stole the show with his mesmerizing strokes which featured five boundaries and five maximums.
He was supported well by Nissanka (24) who was dismissed by in-form Shakib Al Hasan.
“When I faced the first ball, it looked like a good pitch and I backed myself to play my natural game,” he said while receiving Player of the Match.
Asalanka hailed Rajapaksa too for support from the other end. Rajapaksa scored an important 53 off 31 balls, powered by three fours and as many sixes.
“Rajapaksa played a brilliant knock and he changed the momentum. I want to keep it up and look forward to doing the same for my country in the upcoming games.”
Bangladesh post fighting total
Bangladesh was nothing short of brilliance with the bat as they cruised to 171/4.
Mushfiqur Rahim, with an undefeated 57 and opener Mohammad Naim, who hit 62, starred for the Tigers.
Mushfiqur was the aggressive one while Naim anchored the innings from the start. Mushfiqur, in his 37-ball knock, hit five fours and two sixes.
Kumara, Das engage in heated exchange
Ugly scenes took place in first innings after Lahiru Kumara dismissed opener Liton Das for 16.
The moment took place in the sixth over of Bangladesh’s innings.
Immediately, Kumara went to Das and exchanged a few words.
Liton did not like the reaction and started arguing back as he was walking off.
The argument intensified as several players came forward and intervened to separate the two cricketers.
Shakib Al Hasan creates history
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan surpassed Shahid Afridi in the list of the highest wicket-takers in the T20 World Cup during the game.
The all-rounder has 41 wickets in 29 T20 World Cup matches with an economy rate of 6.65.
Shakib put up a splendid performance with the and returned with figures of 2/17.
Mahmudullah aims not to repeat mistakes in next game
Bangladesh’s captain Mahmudullah was in awe of his batters but bowlers let him down.
He aimed not to repeat similar mistakes further in the competition.
“We were in the game till the tenth over. But things went wrong for us after that. We will correct that in the next game.”
“We watched the IPL games and thought an extra spinner would help. The spinners bowled well but we missed a couple of chances.”
“This game will boost up our batting unit and we are looking forward to the next game,” he said.
Sri Lanka’s captain impressed with youngsters
Dasun Shanaka bagged the youngster in the team.
He felt that it’s ideal for youngsters to step up and make a mark in the mega event.
“It was not the easiest targets to chase but once batsmen are set, any target can be chased.
It was an outstanding inning from Asalanka. Youngsters must step up at this stage, it was really nice to see that,” he added.
Sri Lanka 172 for 5 (Asalanka 80*, Rajapaksa 53, Shakib 2-17) beat Bangladesh 171 for 4 (Naim 62, Mushfiqur 57*) by five wickets.