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Dropped catches, poor bowling hurt Tigers

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 25 October, 2021 12:00 AM
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Dropped catches, poor bowling hurt Tigers
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (right) reacts during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup match against Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Sunday. –AFP PHOTO

Dismal bowling and fielding efforts along with poor captaincy spoiled Bangladesh’s good work with the bat as they suffered a five-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka during their opening Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Sharjah, UAE on Sunday.

Liton Das missed two easy catches in the field while most of the bowlers leaked too many runs as Bangladesh failed to defend their score of 171-4 which they posted after Mohammad Naim (62 off 52 balls) and Mushfiqur Rahim (57 not out off 37 balls) smashed fifties respectively.

Charith Asalanka, who was playing only his fifth T20I and birthday boy Bhanuka Rajapaksa made the best use of the drop chances as they scored 80 not out off 49 balls and 53 off 31 balls respectively and put up an 86-run stand for the fifth wicket which propelled their side to victory, 172-5, with seven balls to spare.

Bangladesh, who previously won only one match in the main stage of the T20 World Cup that was introduced in 2007, looked to be the dominating force when they were batting after Sri Lanka sent them to bat first.

While defending their total, the Tigers also got rid of experienced Kusal Perera on one in the first over through Nasum Ahmed, who replaced Taskin Ahmed before Asalanka put up a 69-run stand with Pathum Nissanka (24).

Shakib Al Hasan brought Bangladesh back in the contest with a double strike that saw Nissanka and Avishka Fernando (0) getting dismissed within four deliveries.

By removing Nissanka, Shakib also overtook Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and he now has the most number of scalps in the T20 World Cup with 41 wickets.

Mohammad Saifuddin then dismissed Wanindu Hasaranga for six and Bangladesh again found them on top as they reduced Sri Lanka to 79-4 in 9.4 overs.

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah then made a big blunder during the 13th over of Sri Lanka innings as he brought part-timer Afif Hossain who went for 15 runs in that over that shifted the momentum to Sri Lanka again.

Liton also contributed to that shift as he dropped Bhanuka Rajapaksa on 14 at the deep backward square boundary off Afif’s bowling.

One over later, Liton again found himself at the receiving end when he dropped another catch of Asalanka on 63 at sweeper cover area while Saifuddin was smashed for 22 runs in the next over that eventually ended Bangladesh’s chance in the match.

“Actually, there is no point in blaming…Today the mistake we made was Liton’s dropping two catches. But he is a great fielder. It was really important at that time as well,” Mushfiqur said during the post-match press conference.

Earlier, Naim put up a decent opening stand of 40 runs with Liton (16) before the latter was removed by pacer Lahiru Kumara in the penultimate delivery of the power-play.

Liton and Kumara exchanged angry words with fellow Bangladesh opener Naim pushing away Kumara. Both umpires then had to intervene before the game continued.

Shakib (10) fell cheaply on the day but Naim, who completed his second fifty in the ongoing World Cup and Mushfiqur put up 73 runs for the third wicket to take Bangladesh to a strong finish in their innings.

The Tigers made 41 runs in their last four overs to post a challenging total on board but it wasn’t enough for them at the enough.