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Nidahas Trophy: Mahmudullah fires Bangladesh into title clash against India

Mahmudullah made 43 off 18 balls to launch Bangladesh to a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka

Colombo, March 6: In a match that saw raw emotions and brilliant cricket fusing together, Bangladesh scored a nervy two-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Friday (March 16) to set up title clash with India in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 here.

Bangladesh will take on India at the R Premadasa stadium on Sunday (March 18).


After making 159 for 7 courtesy two bruising fifties by Kusal Perera (61 off 40 balls) and captain Thissara Perera (58 off 37 balls), Sri Lanka ran Bangladesh close till four balls remaining in the match. The equation for Bangladesh to win - 12 runs off 4 balls.

The drama broke loose at that point when Thissara Perera and a substitute Bangladesh player - Nurul Hasan - engaged themselves in a heated verbal exchange over a perceived no-ball.

The matter came to such pass that Bangladesh skipper Shakib al Hasan, who was playing his first match of the tournament, called Mahmudullah and Rubel Hossain back to the hut even as match officials tried to cool down the situation.

Eventually, better sense prevailed and Mahmudullah restarted the proceedings with a cracking boundary over cover off left-arm pacer Isiru Udana. The wonderful shot, played on the knees, reduced the equation to 8 off 3 balls.

Man of the match Mahmudullah (43 off 18 balls with three fours and two sixes) ran a quick double in the next ball - 6 off two balls. The right-hander, who has an icy temperament, did not wait for the last ball drama, finishing the match in the fifth ball with a flicked six over backward square leg.

The entire Bangladesh team slipped into the Nagin dance mode to celebrate the win even as stunned silence embraced the stadium.

But few more words exchanged between Lankan and Bangladesh players and the latter set even refused to have customary shake hand with the match officials. The ICC could take the entire sequence very seriously if the precedent of the two recent series in South Africa - India and Australia - taken into consideration.

But for the time being, let's enjoy a thrilling Bangladesh win and hope for an equally electrifying final involving India.

What they said

Mahmudullah: One of my best innings. When Shakib came back, it was a big boost. Plan to strike the ball as hard as I can. When Shakib got out, I was under pressure. The confusion was because it was the first bumper, but we should forget it, happens in the game.

Thisara Perera: Very tough game, we are disappointed. We thought we were 10-15 runs short, 160 is still reasonable.

Shakib Al Hasan: You can't expect more than that in a T20 game, so much excitement, emotion. Credit goes to SL, losing five early wickets. We kept our nerves in the end. I knew I was not 100% as far as batting is concerned. We always had healthy competition in the ground, but outside, we are friends. Emotions take over, I need to be careful as a leader of a team, I will be careful next time.

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Story first published: Friday, March 16, 2018, 23:24 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 16, 2018

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