T20 World Cup 2024: Calm Mahmudullah gives Bangladesh two-wicket win over Lanka | Crickit
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T20 World Cup 2024: Calm Mahmudullah gives Bangladesh two-wicket win over Lanka

By, Kolkata
Jun 08, 2024 12:28 PM IST

With two losses in the league phase now, Sri Lanka are almost out of the T20 World Cup

The state of the pitches in the USA notwithstanding, any decent T20 side is expected to add at least 50 runs after getting to 100 in 14 overs with seven wickets to spare. But Bangladesh found a bowling rhythm rarely witnessed, and Sri Lanka too capitulated uncharacteristically, producing a strange match that flattered to deceive despite the top billing this encounter has been generating in the recent past.

Bangladesh's Tanzim Hasan and teammate Mahmudullah, left, react following the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at Grand Prairie Stadium, Grand Prairie, Texas, Friday, June 7(PTI)
Bangladesh's Tanzim Hasan and teammate Mahmudullah, left, react following the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at Grand Prairie Stadium, Grand Prairie, Texas, Friday, June 7(PTI)

Chasing 124 should have been a breeze but Bangladesh definitely tried their best to make the match interesting. Losing three wickets in the Powerplay while adding just 34, Bangladesh unnecessarily ramped up pressure on their middle order. Thankfully for them, Towhid Hridoy responded with a 20-ball 40 that rode a belligerent attack against Wanindu Hasaranga yielding three consecutive sixes. By the time Hasaranga trapped Hridoy leg-before, Bangladesh needed 34 off 50 balls. Another breakthrough in the form of Litton Das in the 15th over, and Hasaranga had started giving Sri Lanka hope.

More drama was to come when Maheesh Theekshana took an excellent catch of Shakib Al Hasab running to his left from deep third, reducing Bangladesh to 109/6. Nuwan Thushara then provided another push in the 18th over, dismissing Rishad Hossain and Taskin Ahmed off consecutive deliveries. Eight wickets down, with 12 runs still to get, Bangladesh looked positively cagey but Mahmudullah held his composure and carted a low full toss from Dasun Shanaka over deep square leg for a six before calmly rotating the strike and coasting home with an over to spare.

But this was a win chiefly engineered by Bangladesh’s bowlers, especially in the middle overs of Sri Lanka’s innings. Mustafizur Rahman was again the craftiest on a slow Dallas pitch, using his cutters and slower bouncers effectively to return match figures of 3/17. Most valued among his scalps was opener Pathum Nissanka who kept finding fours to give Sri Lanka a breezy start. But instead of adjusting his approach against Rahman’s cutters, he tried to go after a fuller, angled delivery and sliced it straight to Najmul Hossain at cover.

That wicket triggered a change as Bangladesh plugged the holes, kept taking pace off the ball and put their bodies on the line at the boundaries. Complementing Rahman by now was leg-spinner Rishad Hossain who got first dismissed Charith Asalanka before inducing a massive edge off Hasaranga to slip. From there, Sri Lanka kept slipping away as they added just 24 runs in the last five overs at the expense of six wickets. "Our batters batted really well in the first 8-10 overs,” said Hasaranga at the end of the match. “After that in the middle overs I think we batted badly. We all know our bowling attack is our strength. Especially if batters put up 150-160, our bowling attack can win games. Last two games the batters didn't do the job. It's tough.”

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