Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by five wickets in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a massive target of 172, Sri Lanka had a terrible start as they lost their opening batter Kusal Perera on the fourth delivery of the first over.
Then, Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka took charge and formed a much-needed partnership for the second wicket. The pair went on to add 69 runs before Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan brought back his team in the game.
Shakib cleaned up Nissanka for 24, followed by Avishka Fernando for a duck in the ninth over to reduce Sri Lanka at 71/3. Just eight runs later, Mohammad Saifuddin joined Shakib in the party and removed Wanindu Hasaranga (6).
It appeared that Bangladesh would capitalise from here, but another twist was waiting to greet them as Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa combined to put together a game-changing partnership. The duo put together a vital stand of 86 runs for the fifth wicket before Nasum Ahmed dismissed Rajapaksa for a well-made 53 off 31 balls. But the damage was done as Sri Lanka chased down the target in 18.5 overs with five wickets in hand. Asalanka stayed unbeaten on 80 off 49 balls.
Earlier, Bangladesh posted 171/4 in their allotted 20 overs, courtesy of brilliant knocks by opener Mohammad Naim and senior batter Mushfiqur Rahim.
The pair joined each other in the eighth over when Bangladesh were struggling at 56/2. Naim and Rahim stitched a crucial 73-run partnership to put their side in a commendable position.
Naim smashed six boundaries in his 52-ball 62-run knock, while Rahim remained unbeaten on 57 from 37 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries.
Lahiru Kumara (1/29), Binura Fernando (1/27) and Chamika Karunaratne (1/12) picked up one wicket apiece.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) October 24, 2021
Brilliant innings by Bhanuka Rajapaksha and Charith Asalanka
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) October 24, 2021
Brilliant display of power hitting by the birthday boy @BhanukaRajapak3! What a way to celebrate his birthday! Well done and warm wishes for a blessed birthday.
— Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) October 24, 2021
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) October 24, 2021
Great chase by #SriLanka. Very happy to see Charith Asalanka bat the way he batted with the experienced B’day Boy Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Mahmudullah would be thinking did he bring in Fizz a little too late and those dropped catches will really hurt #Bangladesh #SLvBAN #T20WorldCup
— Stay Home – Stay Safe – Get Vaccinated 🙏 (@hemangkbadani) October 24, 2021
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) October 24, 2021
I remember Asalanka and his burgeoning potential in the 2016 U19 WC. Good to see him coming through.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) October 24, 2021
Charith Asalanka won the Player of the Match award for his brilliant 80* runs with 5 sixes.
Congratulations ! #LKA #SriLanka #Cricket #SLvBAN #BANvSL #Bangladesh #T20WorldCup2021 #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/01Ps6GBYBd
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 💉 (@SriLankaTweet) October 24, 2021
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) October 24, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) October 24, 2021
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 24, 2021
Charith Asalanka’s Batting Impact today was +37, the highest for any knock in the #T20WorldCup so far.
His 32 (18) in the Powerplay kept the rate manageable even as wickets fell around him. A stylish innings, of significant substance.
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) October 24, 2021
The #SL chase was seemingly defined by match-ups with a pair of LHs dissuading #BNG from bowling Shakib until it was too late but that choice actually shows the importance of using data wisely. Shakib is an SLA but he averages 18 v LHs & 25 v RHs since the last WC. #T20WorldCup
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) October 24, 2021