T20 World Cup: Asalanka's fireworks steer Sri Lanka past Bangladesh

Charith Asalanka struck an unbeaten 80 (49b) as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by five wickets in Sharjah.

Charith Asalanka in full flow during his unbeaten 80. - AP

Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa shared a partnership of 86 to give Sri Lanka a five-wicket win over Bangladesh in their opening Super 12 match in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sharjah on Sunday.

AS IT HAPPENED

Asalanka remained unbeaten on 80 from 49 balls and Rajapaksa, celebrating his 30th birthday, hit a 31-ball 53 to help Sri Lanka chase down a 172-run target with seven balls to spare.

Put in to bat, Bangladesh posted 171 for four after opening batsman Mohammad Naim anchored the innings with a 52-ball 62 and the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim smashed an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary

Sri Lanka's bowlers had done most of the damage in the preliminary round matches and it was left to the batsmen to keep the winning run intact for the 2014 champion. They did not disappoint, left-hander Asalanka providing a fast start to its chase with a knock studded with five fours and five sixes.

Sri Lanka was comfortably placed at 71 for 1 after eight overs but Shakib Al Hasan briefly turned the game in Bangladesh's favour with two wickets in four balls.

 

Asalanka and Rajapaksa got Sri Lanka's chase back on track but were aided by Bangladesh fielder Liton Das, who was guilty of dropping both batters. Rajapaksa was on 14 when he was spilled at deep square leg while Asalanka was let off on 63.

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With Group One loaded with six Test-playing nations and only two sides going through to the semifinals, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were desperate to get off to a winning start.

Naim and Das gave Bangladesh a solid base with an opening stand of 40 before the latter fell for 16 to fast bowler Lahiru Kumara. Das and Kumara got into a heated argument after the dismissal and had to be separated by the umpires and other players.

Naim and Mushfiqur did the bulk of the scoring for Bangladesh with a third-wicket stand of 73.

Bangladesh plays England in its next match on Wednesday, a day before Sri Lanka takes on Australia.

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