Highlights: Bangladesh keep hopes alive after beating Sri Lanka by 23 runs
After having won one and lost one, Asia Cup hosts Bangladesh needed to win the match against Sri Lanka and get a chance to feature in the final of the tournament. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were just looking to continue their winning form from the first game against UAE, albeit the match was closer than what Sri Lanka had hoped for.
The pitch at Mirpur was not the usual green top that was used in the previous games. It seemed like a much better track and this prompted Bangladesh captain, Mashrafe Mortaza to choose to bat first after winning the toss.
Bangladesh had a terrible start to their innings as they lost opener Mohammad Mithun in the second ball of the first over and fellow opener, Soumya Sarkar also departed for a duck in the very next over.
A Mushfiqur Rahim-slip led to the former captain's wicket as he was run-out by the Sri Lanka stand-in captain, Angelo Mathews. However, in-form batsman, Sabbir Rahman and all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan were involved in an 82-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Sabbir played a gem of an innings as he scored a 54-ball 80 to help his side post a competitive total for the hosts. Shakib played a handy knock of 32 off 34 balls and ably I5aGdmMTE6J5QI__j9gzp_3GfwrDUFL7supported his attacking partner well.
Mahmudullah played a useful knock of 23 runs off 12 balls to help Bangladesh launch a late assault and propel their score to 147 in 20 overs.
Dushmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka as he picked 3/30 in his four overs. Mathews gave away only 8 runs in his three overs and picked up one wicket while Nuwan Kulasekara also picked up one wicket.
Although Sri Lanka lost the experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan early, Dinesh Chandimal and Shehan Jayasuriya put in a 56-run partnership to set the tone for what should have been an easy chase for the Islanders.
However, once Chandimal and Jayasuriya were dismissed it was all downhill for Sri Lanka as the Bangladeshi bowlers came back strongly by picking up wickets at regular intervals to beat Sri Lanka by 23 runs.
Al-Amin Hossain picked up three wickets for the hosts while Shakib picked up two, and the trio of Mustafizur Rahman, Mortaza and Mahmudullah picked up one wicket each.
This was the first ever time that Bangladesh have defeated Sri Lanka in T20Is. They have met each other on five occasions.in all in T20Is.
This win will give Bangladesh the confidence going into their last group stage match of the tournament which is against Pakistan on March 2. Sri Lanka will, however, feel that they gave away what looked like an easy win at one point of time.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 147/7, 20 overs (Sabbir Rahman 80; Chameera 3/30) beat Sri Lanka 124/8, 20 overs (Chandimal 37; Al-Amin Hossain 3/34, Shakib Al-Hasan 2/21) by 23 runs.