Thisara, Kusal fifties take Lanka to 159 for 7
Colombo, Mar 16 (PTI) Captain Thisara Perera and Kusal Perera struck half centuries as Sri Lanka recovered from a top-order batting collapse to post a competitive 159 for 7 against Bangladesh in their virtual semifinal match of the Nidahas Twenty20 tri-series here today.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka were in all sort of trouble early in their innings against the Bangladeshi bowlers, led by young left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman whose incisive pace spell rocked the home side batsmen.
But the Perera duo, Thisara (58) and Kusal (61) showed their mettle with a fine counter-attacking batting display to take their side past the 150-run mark.
Sri Lanka were 41 for 5 in the ninth over and they were staring at a meagre total but Thisara and Kusal had other ideas as the duo flayed the Bangladesh bowlers at the later stages of their innings.
Kusal ,who scored his third half century of the tournament, needed 40 deliveries for his 61. He hit seven fours and one six. Thisara, on the other hand, faced 37 balls for his 58 and struck three fours and as many sixes.
Bangladesh were, however, on top initially with their bowlers, led by Mustafizur Rahman (2/39), creating havoc on the home side top-order batsmen.
The 22-year-old Mustafizur, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.2 crores for the upcoming IPL season, had in-form Kushal Mendis (11) in the fourth over and then dimissed Dasun Shanaka (0) in his next over. At one stage, his figures read 2-1-4-2.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan gave the first breakthrough by claiming opener Danushka Gunathilaka (4) . Shakib struck in his comeback after he made it to the team after sitting out of the previous matches due to to a finger injury.
Mustafizur was also involved in the run out of Upul Tharanga (5) in his second over, as the sixth over yielded two wickets.
The back of Sri Lankan batting was broken by the end of powerplay overs as they were reduced to 35 for 4 at the end of sixth over.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz joined the party by removing Jeevan Mendis in the ninth over as Sri Lanka lost half of their batsmen for just 41 runs. This was before Thisara and Kusal resurrected the Sri Lankan innings with a stunning batting display