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HomeSportsBangladesh beats Sri Lanka by 8 wickets to level T20 series

Bangladesh beats Sri Lanka by 8 wickets to level T20 series

Bangladesh’s Najmul Hossain Shanto reacts after winning the second Twenty20 international cricket match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet on March 6, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto led from the front with an unbeaten half century as Bangladesh leveled the three-match T20 international series with an eight-wicket win against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Shanto hit a six off pacer Dasun Shanaka over deep backward square to bring up the victory as well as his fourth fifty as Bangladesh chased down Sri Lanka’s 165-5 with 170-2. He finished with a 38-ball 53, hitting four fours and two sixes. Towhid Hridoy was on 32 off 25 balls, including two fours and one six.

Hridoy and Shanto added 87 in an unbeaten third-wicket stand to hasten the victory. Bangladesh lost the first game by three wickets after a thrilling contest. The third and decisive game will be played Friday.

“I think it shows a lot of character (the way we came back) and how we bowled in these conditions,” Shanto said. “Really happy with the way we bowled.”

The hosts got off to a solid start, courtesy of openers Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar as they combined for 68 runs in 6.5 overs. Pacer Matheesha Pathirana broke the partnership when he had Sarkar (26) caught by Angelo Mathews at midwicket with a short ball. Pathirana’s short ball also accounted for the wicket of Das after his 24-ball 36.

Hridoy and Shanto then played sedately to bring up the victory in a comprehensive manner.

Bangladesh’s bowlers also put on a disciplined show after Shanto sent Sri Lanka in to bat first.

The Sri Lankan openers took eight balls to open the scoreboard. Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed removed Avishka Fernando with a return catch for a seven ball-duck but Kusal Mendis and Kamindu Mendis put on 66 runs to bring the side back in the contest.

The Bangladeshi bowlers regrouped well and further established their dominance, taking wickets in quick succession. Soumya Sarkar dismissed Kusal for 36 before Kamindu was trapped run out after making a team-high 37. Mustafizur Rahman got the better of Sadeera Samarawickrama (7), who hit a half-century in the last match.

“We were short about 20-25 runs, and then Kamindu’s run out also played a huge part in the game,” Sri Lanka stand-in captain Charith Asalanka said. “As a batter we have to make big runs, especially in these conditions. Because it’s very hard for the bowlers to bowl in these conditions.”

Asalanka struck a typically aggressive 28 while Angelo Mathews hit a 21-ball 32 not out.

Mathews and Shanaka, who was unbeaten on 20, added 53.

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