DELHI: Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan scored half-centuries after a combined bowling effort to power Bangladesh to a sensational three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the 38th match of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Bangladesh’s three-wicket victory marked the end of Sri Lanka’s semi-final hopes.
Set to chase 280, Bangladesh scored 282 for the loss of seven wickets and 53 balls to spare, thanks to a massive 169-run partnership between Shanto and Shakib.
Earlier, Bangladesh openers Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das failed to give a steady start to the pursuit as they both perished within seven overs with just 41 runs on the board.
Shakib Al Hasan then joined Najmul Hossain Shanto at the crease and the pair launched an astounding recovery with both scoring half-centuries.
The duo appeared to have settled down and were looking in control before Angelo Mathews removed both set batters in quick succession to cause a stir in the run chase.
Shakib scored a brisk 82 in 65 deliveries, laced with 12 boundaries and two sixes while Shanto smashed 12 boundaries on his way to a 101-ball 90 and top-scored for the side.
Mahmudullah (22) and Mushfiqur Rahim (10) then stitched a brief 38-run partnership for the fifth wicket before both perished in quick succession while Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3) also followed their footsteps.
Bangladesh, as a result, slipped to 269/7 in the 41st over and still needed 11 runs.
Towhid Hridoy, however, held his nerves calm and steered his side over the line with an unbeaten 15 off seven deliveries while Tanzim Hasan Shakib aided him with five not out.
Dilshan Madushanka led the bowling attack for Sri Lanka with three wickets while Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana bagged two each.
Bangladesh drew first blood after opting to bowl, as Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera on the last ball of their first over with only five runs on the board.
Sri Lanka’s skipper Kusal Mendis then joined Pathum Nissanka and together they knitted a 61-run partnership, dominated by the latter before Bangladesh struck in back-to-back overs to leave the Islanders reeling at 72-3.
Mendis was dismissed by his Bangladeshi counterpart Shakib Al Hasan after his cautious 30-ball 19, while, Nissanka was castled by Tanzim Hasan Sakib in the next over.
Nissanka played a quick knock of 41 runs from 36 balls with the help of eight boundaries.
Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka then added 63 runs for the fourth wicket before the former was out while attempting to hit Shakib Al Hasan out of the park after scoring 41 off 42.
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With Sri Lanka stranded at 135-4, former captain Angelo Mathews came out to bat, however, he found himself in an unfortunate situation as he became the first batter to be given ‘timed-out’ in international cricket.
Charith Asalanka took charge and attacked Bangladesh bowlers, getting reasonable support from Dhananjaya de Silva (34) and Maheesh Theekshana (22).
De Silva added 78 runs with Asalanka during their sixth-wicket stand while Theekshana helped add 45 runs.
Asalanka completed his second ODI century in the 48th over before getting out in the next over. His gusty 108, featured six boundaries and five sixes.
Bangladesh bowlers picked up the final two wickets for a mere run, with Tanzim Hasan Sakib topping the bowling charts with three wickets.