Bangladesh's Under-19 cricket team defeated Sri Lanka by 5 wickets in a crucial group stage match for their survival in the tri-nation series at Abu Dhabi's Tolerance Oval.
Chasing a moderate 216-run target, Bangladesh started off in a whirlwind manner, with opener Jisan Alam scoring a blistering 62 runs off just 32 balls, including five fours and four sixes.
Although the wickets of Shahrear Shakib (3) and Ariful Islam (22) fell early, Ashikur Rahman and Shihab James provided good support to Jisan and kept the run-rate ticking. Rahman made a patient 30 off 65 balls, while James scored 26 off 38 balls.
When Jisan departed, Bangladesh still needed 80 runs to win with five wickets in hand. However, captain Ahrar stepped up and played a captain's knock to guide his team to victory. He remained unbeaten on 44 runs off 80 balls and was well-supported by Mahfuzur Rahman, who scored 21 runs off 16 balls.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first, but they were soon in trouble as they lost five wickets for just 61 runs. Rohanat Barshan and Maruf Mridha bowled exceptionally well to restrict Sri Lanka's run-scoring and take three wickets each.
However, Dinura Kalupahana and Hiran Jayasundara provided some resistance and took the score past 100. Kalupahana top-scored for Sri Lanka with 49 runs, while Malsha Tharupathi scored a quickfire 46 off 37 balls to help their team post 215 in their 50 overs.
With this win, Bangladesh kept their hopes of making it to the final alive. However, their fate now depends on the result of the last group match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka on March 28.
Afghanistan, who already have 4 points and a good net run rate, are already through to the final.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have 2 points in three matches, while Bangladesh have 4 points but a better net run rate.