Batting lets Tigers down again
Batting failure once again led to the downfall of Bangladesh in their 21-run defeat against Sri Lanka in a crucial Super Four encounter in the Asia Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.
Chasing a victory target of 258, Bangladesh were bowled out for 236 runs with eleven balls remaining, with Towhid Hridoy's 82 the only notable batting performance for the losing side.
With consecutive defeats in the Super Four stage, Bangladesh's hopes of reaching the final are left hanging by a thread, with only one game for them remaining, that against seven-time champions India on September 15.
Bangladesh's top-order batting once again failed to complement the spirit shown by the bowlers on a tricky Premadasa surface, and despite a 55-run opening stand between Naim Sheikh and Mehedi Hasan Miraz, the Tigers found themselves in all sorts of trouble after losing four wickets for 28 runs in nine overs.
Miraz scored 28 runs before falling softly to the medium pace of Dasun Shanaka – the first of three wickets for the Sri Lanka skipper. Shanaka soon relieved Naim off his miseries after a 46-ball 21, which featured 33 dots.
Matheesha Pathirana then got into the act by removing skipper Shakib Al Hasan for three while Liton Das soon followed suit, getting caught behind off the bowling of left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage for 15 as Bangladesh found themselves 83 for four inside 19 overs.
Hridoy and Mushfiqur then added 72 runs in the fifth-wicket stand before the latter threw his wicket away after scoring 29 runs, effectively ending Bangladesh's realistic chances of a victory.
Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers did a decent job to restrict the hosts to 257 for nine after Shakib had elected to field.
The three Bangladesh pacers, despite being on the expensive side, shared eight wickets, with Taskin Ahmed and Hasan Mahmud bagging three wickets each and Shoriful Islam picking up a couple.
The spinners, meanwhile, kept the Lankan batters in check. Shakib and Nasum Ahmed, who replaced Afif Hossain in the playing XI, conceded 43 and 31 runs, respectively.
Sadeera Samarawickrama was the stand-out batter eventually for Sri Lanka. The right-handed batter's 72-ball 93, which featured eight fours and two sixes, enabled the hosts add 51 runs in the last six overs of the innings.