The 15th match of the T20 World Cup 2021 took place between the two teams that just qualified for the Super 12 stage as Sri Lanka took on Bangladesh in Sharjah. Sri Lanka won the match by five wickets to make a solid start in the Super 12. Winning the toss, Sri Lanka invited the opposite side to chip in with bat first and it looked like Bangladesh were all set to make it a big day for them.
Young Mohammad Naim and experienced Mushfiqur Rahim rose to the occasion and looked all set to give a big total to their team. While Naim smashed 62 off 52 balls, Rahim gave justice to the format while playing a thrilling knock of 57 off 27. Owing to the star batting by these two, Bangladesh went on to post a good 171 runs on the board.
T20 World Cup 2021: Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa make it easy for Sri Lanka
Chamika Karunaratne picked one wicket and was economical as well. When the chase game of Sri Lanka began, Kusal Perera came and went in no time after scoring just a single run. However, his partner Pathum Nissanka played a crucial cameo of 24 runs. The major turnover for Lanka began when the partnership between Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa started gaining colours.
While Asalanka played a sizzling knock of 80 off 49 and stayed till the end to take Sri Lanka over the line, Rajapaksa smashed a fiery half-century (53 off 31) to put his team in the driving seat. Shakib Al Hasan was the best man from Bangladesh’s artillery as he picked two wickets while conceding at 5.70.
Winning Skipper, Dasun Shanaka said:
“Not the easiest target to chase. It’s all about boundaries. Once the batsman gets set, any target is chaseable. Really important to win the first game. They batted really well. Those knocks are brilliant (Asalanka and Rajapaksa).”
Losing Skipper, Mahmudullah said:
“Batters did a great job. Liton and Naim gave us a very good start. Naim played a brilliant innings to hold the innings together. Mushy played a brilliant innings. We lost a few chances. Would like to correct those things in the next game. Watching last few games here, we felt extra spinner was a good option. We missed a couple of chances – would’ve been a different story. Hopefully we can put up a good game against them (England).”
Player of the match, Charith Asalanka said:
“Happy that I could help Sri Lanka win the game. It looked like a very good pitch when I walked out to bat, so I tried to play my shots. Rajapaksha was the game changer, he played a few wonderful shots. I want to keep this up and keep winning games for my country.”