Sports, Cricket

Tigers upbeat to stay alive in the series

Published : 05 Mar 2024 08:55 PM

Bangladesh vowed to stay alive in the three-match T20 International series as they take on Sri Lanka in the second match tomorrow (Wednesday) at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

The match starts at 6 pm.

The hosts suffered a heartbreaking three-run defeat in the first match despite a valiant effort of debutant Jaker Ali Anik and veteran Mahmudullah Riyad. Jaker's 34 ball-68 which kept the match alive till the last over in big chase earned the plaudits, specially for its sheer boldness and intent. He hit six sixes in his innings, which is highest by not only a debutant batter but also highest by a Bangladeshi batter in T20 International game.

Sri Lanka posted a respectable 206-3 but with dew around, the target was achievable. However, Bangladesh suffered a familiar top order collapse to be reduced to 30-3, which proved to be decisive in the defeat at the end. The game could have finished much earlier had Mahmudullah Riyad and Jaker not resisted.

The first counterattack came from Mahmudullah who was playing his first T20 International game after two years. He struck a 34 ball-51 before Jaker Ali took the side on the brink. Dasun Shanaka then took two wickets including Jaker and defended 12 runs in the last over to deny the hosts from the victory. Still the performance would be instrumental in motivating Bangladesh to level the series, said Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto.

“We started well with the ball but did not execute our plans later,” Shanto said. “Mahmudullah's innings was amazing along with Jaker's, hope they contribute in the next match as well.”

Jaker, the boy from Sylhet who sent the home fans into the delirium in the first T20, said that they can still take positives from this narrow defeat.

“Losing is always heart-breaking. I didn't sleep the night after losing the BPL final. I would have felt great if we could have won today. I am planning for the next match already. We can take plenty of positives from today’s game,” he added.

Bangladesh, however, looked no chance to tinker with the best XI for the crucial second match, even though the top order's form is a concern. 

Sri Lanka's top order and middle order fired as they expected with stand-in Captain Charith Asalanka gave a nice finishing after two brilliant knocks of opener Kusal Mendis and middle order batter Sadeera Samarawickrama. The lower middle order needed not to come into the party. 

Sri Lanka bowlers also bowled nicely despite the dew effectively neutralized them. Given the total team's performance, it is highly unlikely that Sri Lanka would bring up any change.

But, fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana looked to have some injury concern when he was bowling in the death overs in first T20.

The two teams played 14 T20 matches, so far, with Sri Lanka winning 10 while Bangladesh won just four.


Bangladesh: Najmul Hossain Shanto (Captain), Liton Das, Anamul Haque Bijoy,

Naim Sheikh, Towhid Hridoy, Soumya Sarkar, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Mahmudullah

Riyad, Taijul Islam, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman,

Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Jaker Ali Anik

Sri Lanka: Wanindu Hasaranga (capt for last game), Charith Asalanka (capt for

first two games), Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun

Shanaka, Maheesh Theekshana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilshan

Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Binura

Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Avishka Fernando and Jeffrey Vandersay.