Mahmudullah powers Bangladesh into the final
By Krunal Gandhi, MyCricketHighlights Writer
Tri-Series 6th Match: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Mar 16 - 2018, Cricket highlights
The stakes were really high; after all, it was a virtual semi-final. In such a high-voltage contest, both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh played some fantastic cricket, but in the end, it was Mahmudullah, who held his nerves and by smashing 43 off just 18 balls, pulled off a memorable win for Bangladesh.
Chasing 160 to win, Bangladesh were off to a mixed sort of start as they lost two wickets for 50 odd runs in the powerplay. The positive thing from their perspective was Tamim Iqbal was still out there and he looked in superb touch. Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim had put their team in a solid position by stitching a partnership of 64 runs and courtesy of their stand, Bangladesh managed to score 95 runs in 12 overs.
With just 65 needed off the last 8 overs and 8 wickets still in hand, they were certainly the favourites to win the contest. But then came the twist in the tale, as they lost 3 wickets, including that of Tamim and Mushfiqur, in the next three overs. From 97 for 2, they slipped to 109 for 5. Now, the equation became trickier as they required 50 to get off the last 5 overs.
By picking up wickets, Sri Lankan bowlers had kept their team alive in the contest. Also, with two new batsmen out in the middle, they now had the upper hand in the contest.
The required run-rate was 10 RPO and that was achieved by the captain, Shakib Al Hasan, and former captain, Mahmudullah, in the next two overs. From Bangladesh’s perspective, they needed to bat till the end to chase the target down. However, that didn’t happen as Shakib was removed by Isuru Udana at the end of 18th over. It was a terrific over from Udana, who conceded only 6 runs.
Now, the responsibility to get his team over the line was on the shoulders of Mahmudullah. He had batted brilliantly so far, scoring 20 off just 10 balls, and he continued that in the penultimate over, in which he accumulated 11 runs. This meant that Bangladesh needed 12 to win off the last over.
Udana, once again, started brilliantly as he bowled a couple of dots to begin the over. On the second ball, Mustafizur Rahman was also run-out, after which there was a ruckus created by the Bangladeshi captain and a few of the substitute players, who came running onto the ground. They seemed to be appealing against the second bouncer bowled by Udana, which was first termed as a no-ball by the square-leg umpire, but after discussions with his partner, it was changed into a legal delivery.
Shakib even demanded his batsmen to come back, but after he was pacified by the umpires and the team manager, the match finally resumed. Mahmudullah, who looked even more animated by all the drama unfolded, smashed the third delivery for a boundary. The fourth ball was placed away for a couple, which meant that Bangladesh needed 6 off the last two deliveries. It was a chance for Mahmudullah to become a hero for his team; and by clobbering the fifth delivery over the square-leg fence for a six, he did the unimaginable.