Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa played knocks of 80 and 53 respectively as Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by five wickets in the Super 12's Group 1 match here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing 172, Sri Lanka lost the wicket of Kusal Perera (1) in the very first over as he was bowled by Nasum Ahmed. However, Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka counter-attacked and the duo took Sri Lanka's score to 54/1 after the end of the powerplay overs. Both batters put on 69 runs for the second over.
Shakib Al Hasan however, changed the game around for Bangladesh in the ninth over as he dismissed Nissanka (24) and Avishka Fernando (0), reducing Sri Lanka to 71/3 with the side still needing 101 runs to win from 68 balls.
Wanindu Hasaranga (6) failed to leave a mark with the bat and Sri Lanka was left struggling at 79/4 in the 10th over of the innings. Asalanka then found the support in the form of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and the duo did not let the asking run-rate creep up too high. Both of them kept on registering boundaries at regular intervals and Sri Lanka needed just 24 runs from the final four overs.
In the end, Sri Lanka registered a comfortable victory with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, Mohammad Naim and Mushfiqur Rahim played knocks of 62 and 57 to help Bangladesh post a total of 171/4 in the allotted twenty overs. Sent into bat, Bangladesh got off to a steady start as openers Liton Das and Mohammad Naim put on 40 runs for the first wicket, but this stand was cut short by Lahiru Kumara in the sixth over as he sent Das (16) back to the pavilion. Shakib Al Hasan (10) failed to leave a mark with the bat and Bangladesh was reduced to 56/2 in the eighth over.
Mushfiqur Rahim then joined Naim in the middle and the duo frustrated the Sri Lankan bowling attack, registering boundaries at regular intervals. The duo put on 73 runs for the third wicket and it was finally in the 17th over that Chamika Karunaratne was able to send Naim (62) back to the pavilion, reducing Bangladesh to 129/3.
In the final three overs, Bangladesh managed to add 31 more runs to their total, taking it past the 170-run mark. Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 57 and 10.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 171/4 (Mohammad Naim 62, Mushfiqur Rahim 57*; Chamika Karunaratne 1-12); Sri Lanka 172/5 (Charith Asalanka 80*, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 53; Shakib Al Hasan 2-17). (ANI)