Sri Lanka held their nerve in a thrilling finish © Getty Images (File Photo)
Feb 12, 2014
Anamul Haque’s heroics were unable to get Bangladesh across Sri Lanka’s 168 as they fell short by two runs in the first T20 International at Chittagong.
Chasing an above-par score set by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman started brightly, blunting Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera.
At 52 for no loss after six overs, the home team would have definitely fancied their chances of chasing down the total. Spinner Ajantha Mendis drew first blood for Sri Lanka, sending Shamsur back into the pavilion after hanging on to a caught and bowled chance and Tamim also perished soon after, trying to up the ante. The Bangladesh opener holed out to Angelo Mathews off Thisara Perera.
Shakib Al Hasan and Anamul Haque took off from the solid platform that was set up the order and Bangladesh looked set to chase down the total comfortably at the end of 13 overs.
A flurry of wickets, however changed the nature of the context and put a significant dent in Bangladesh hopes. Shakib was bowled by Kulasekera and Nasir Hossain didn’t build on his start either. Wicketkeeper Mithun Ali perished for a duck off Kulasekera and the pendulum had swung the Sri Lankan way at this point.
The onus was on Anamul to chase 16 off the last over. The Bangladesh batsman struck three fours of the over and the home team needed 3 off the last ball. Perera bowled a high full toss and Anamul mistimed it straight to the bowler to end a thrilling contest.
Sri Lanka 168 for 7 (Kusal Perera 64, Thisara Perera 19*, Nuwan Kulasekera 31; Arafat Sunny 2 for 17, Shakib Al Hasan 2 for 27) beat Bangladesh (Tamim Iqbal 30, Anamul Haque 58, Shakib Al Hasan 26; Nuwan Kulasekera 2 for 29, Thisara Perera 2 for 42) by 2 runs.