Asalanka, Rajapaksa star in SL’s victory against B’desh | Daily News

Asalanka, Rajapaksa star in SL’s victory against B’desh

Sri Lanka started their Super 12 campaign of the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup with a splendid five-wicket victory over Bangladesh in their Group One match played at the Sharjah Stadium in the United Arab Emirates yesterday.

The former champions successfully chased down Bangladesh’s total of 171 through a tremendous batting performance with five wickets and seven deliveries to spare.

Player-of-the-Match Charith Asalanka played a magnificent innings and steered his team to victory with an 86-run fifth wicket stand together with Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

The pair took the game away from Bangladesh after an early setback with Asalanka hoisting five sixes and stroking the same number of boundaries during his unbeaten 80

Rajapaksa, who came into bat at a crucial stage rose to the occasion and smashed 53 from 31 balls with three sixes and three boundaries.

The Bangladesh innings, of course, was built around two superb half-centuries from Mohammad Naim 62 and Mushfiqur Rahim after they put into bat.

Both produced a fine exhibition of T20 batting as they took full advantage of some loose deliveries to pile up a challenging total.

In fact, Naim and Liton Das (16) took Bangladesh off to a flyer with an opening start of 40 runs from 5.5 overs.

But Sri Lanka came back into the game by claiming two wickets inside 11 deliveries including the prize scalp of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

The diminutive Rahim joined Naim and the pair produced the best batting of the innings with a third wicket partnership of 73 runs in eight overs.

In fact Bangladesh collected 84 runs from the last eight overs with Naim reaching his fifty from 44 balls inclusive of four boundaries.

After Naim departed in the 17th over, Rahim kept the same momentum as he raced to a 32-ball half-century with the help of two sixes and two boundaries.

Chief scores

Bangladesh: 171/4 in 20 overs (Mohammad Naim 62, Mushfiqur Rahim 57 n.o)

Sri Lanka: 172/5 in 18.5 overs (Pathum Nissanka 24, Charith Asalanka 80 n.o, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 53, Nasum Ahmed 2/29, Shakib Al Hasan 2/17). (Agencies)

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