Sabbir, bowlers hand Bangladesh famous win

A quickfire 80 from Sabbir Rahman was backed up by solid death bowling by seamers to facilitate Bangladesh's 23-run win, its first over Sri Lanka in Twenty20 Internationals.

Dinesh Chandimal's wicket in the 11th wicket turned the match around for Bangladesh.   -  AP

Mohammad Mithun was dismissed off the second ball of the match.   -  AP

Sabbir Rahman, the No. 4, played an attacking innings of 80, and his effort was backed up by accurate death bowling from seamers to give Bangladesh a 23-run win over Sri Lanka, in the Asia Cup encounter between the sides in Mirpur. This was Bangladesh's first win over Sri Lanka in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

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Sri Lanka was stable in its chase of 148, with a second-wicket partnership between Dinesh Chandimal and Shehan Jayasirya of 56. But both fell within four balls of each other, and the resultant momentum was sustained by Bangladesh with effective bowling by Mustafizur Rahman and Al-Amin Hossain to strangle Sri Lanka's assault on the target.

After Chandimal and Jayasuriya departed, Thisara Perera, the big-hitting allrounder, was dismissed leg-before-wicket off seamer Mustafizur Rahman. Milinda Siriwardana, the No. 6, followed soon after depositing a length ball from Mashrafe Mortaza into the hands of Sabbir Rahman at deep midwicket. In the 18th over, with 46 needed to win, Angelo Mathews, the captain, mistimed a heave off another length ball, this time by Al-Amin, and was caught at point. Dasun Shanaka and Nuwan Kulasekara, the tailenders, were dismissed in the final over, but by this time, the strangle was complete and the contest had effectively ended.

The stabilising stand for the second wicket transpired after Tillakaratne Dilshan continued his poor run of form, dismissed for 12 off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan for 12, in the fourth over of the innings.

Sabbir rescues

Bangladesh's 147 for 7 was built on Sabbir, who smashed 10 fours and three sixes in his 54-ball knock, to lead his team's recovery after it was reduced to 26 for 3 in the fifth over. Shakib, his partner during the recovery stand of 82 in 11.1 overs, was slow in comparison, and eventually departed for 34 off 32 balls, eight deliveries after Sabbir fell, in the 16th over. The fall of wickets resumed towards the end of the innings, but by then it had ensured a challenging total.

Bangladesh, after opting to bat, started shakily, losing the openers within the first two overs. Mohammad Mithun was dismissed leg-before-wicket off the second ball of the match, by Angelo Mathews. Soumya Sarkar was caught at mid-off off a mistimed drive in the second over. A run-out ended Mushfiqur Rahim's brief stay at the crease, but Sabbir, then, took over the stage to pummel the Sri Lankan bowling.

Bangladesh lost the first match it played in the tournament, against India, and won its second, against United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sri Lanka survived a scare against the UAE in the only game it has played in the event, to post a win.

Both teams opted to go in with the same team as in their previous matches, besides, for Sri Lanka, a single change: the omission of Malinga (out due to injury), who was replaced by Thisara Perera.

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