Memorable victory for Mashrafe’s farewell
Published : 07 Apr 2017, 11:30
Bangladesh gave their captain Mashrafe Mortaza a victorious and emotional send-off in the final T20 international, as he announced his sudden retirement from the shortest format of cricket.
They outplayed Sri Lanka by 45 runs in the final T20 at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to square the T20 series by 1-1.
Shakib Al Hasan was adjudged player of the match while Lasith Malinga was awarded the man-of-series trophy.
Bangladesh finished their Lanka mission with draws in all three formats of the series.
Mashrafe, well-known as Narail Express, will continue his captaincy in the ODI cricket.
The 33-year-old Mashrafe, who played 54 T20Is, was given a standing ovation by a raucous Bangladesh fans in Colombo as he ended his 11-year-long glittering T20 career.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated the Tigers on defeating Sri Lanka in the final T20I match.
She also greeted all players, coach and team officials on beating the hosts.
While chasing a target of 176, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could not get any momentum into their innings as they folded for 131 in 18 overs.
The Tigers started off well, pushing the home side on the back foot after they were 40/5 in 5.2 overs, losing all the top five batters.
But a 58-run partnership between Chamara Kapugedera and Thisara Perera set things up nicely for Lankans to chase down the target.
However, the moment Perera lost his wicket, the game shifted towards the Tigers and they perfectly capitalised on that wicket as the visitors were forced to stop at 131 losing all wickets in 18 overs.
The momentum switched with a bowling change which saw Shakib remove Perera (27) while Mustafizur dismissed Kapugedara and Malinga.
Saifuddin then took his maiden T20 wicket by removing Sanjay as the visitors wrapped up the tail to give a flavour of their dominance.
It was Mustafizur and Shakib who caused the most problems. Cutter master Mustafiz finished with 4 for 21 from his three overs and Shakib's four overs brought 3 for 24 as the batsmen had no answers to their pace and spin.
Mashrafe took one wicket in his last T20 international. He conceded 30 runs from four overs.
For Sri Lanka, Chamara Kapugederawas the top scorer with a 35-ball 50 and Thisara Perea chipped in with 27, but their efforts were not enough to overhaul the Tigers’ target.
Earlier, veteran paceman Lasith Malinga recorded his first hat-trick in T20, but Bangladesh rode on a commanding opening partnership by Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarker and responsible batting from future Bangladesh T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan to put up a respectable score against a disciplined bowling attack.
Skipper Mashrafe continued his succession with coin in his last T20 and opted to bat first, wanting to utilise the fresh and flat R. Premadasa Stadium pitch first.
Left hand opener Imrul Kayes, replaced Tamim Iqbal and even opened the innings with Soumya Sarkar.
However, Mashrafe's decision to bat first after winning the toss was justified by Imrul Kayes who, in the company of Soumya Sarkar (34), gave Tigers a rollicking start of 71.
With the Bangladesh batting in form, the Sri Lanka bowling looked more erratic than before and runs were coming thick and fast.
Imrul’s only saving grace has been a few good knocks in ODI cricket. But yesterday, his belief paid off and it seemed his prayers were answered. He got going from the beginning of the game, dispatching Kulasekara for two consecutive fours.
And then he and Soumya went on to play many such shots to set the ball rolling for Lankans. Soumya on the other hand played his typical audacious stroke play, hitting four fours and two monster sixes in his fluent 34-run knock before he was run-not.
Tigers were 101 for 2 after 10 overs and they added only 75 runs in their next 10 while Shakib batted beautifully. He picked handy boundaries playing the pull and cut with relish.
Sabbir Rahman (17) and Shakib(38) staged a minor recovery after two openers’ falls but when Shakib was castled by Kulasekara it sparked a collapse in which Bangladesh lost six wickets in 37 runs and the visitors were able to post a challenging 176 for nine in their 20 overs, still the total was gigantic enough to give Tharanga’s men the shivers as they had to chase against a spirited Bangladesh bowling attack.
It was left to some lusty hitting by Mosaddek Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim to get Bangladesh over the 170 mark before both were dismissed in same manner.
Malinga returned for his third spell to remove a dangerous looking Mushfiq, Mashrafe and Miraz in three successive deliveries to end Bangladesh’s 200 hopes.
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