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Dhaka Tribune

Moments: Shakib straight into the action and right on the money, Tigers bowlers used perfectly and Kusal keeps burning

Update : 16 Mar 2018, 11:47 PM
Shakib straight into the action and right on the moneyBangladesh T20I captain Shakib al Hasan's inclusion for the do-or-die game against host Sri Lanka was a controversial one. Many raised their eyebrows and termed it a desperate move as the cricketer in question had not fully gained match fitness after incurring a finger injury. However, given the short duration of the game, Bangladesh gambled and got Shakib back as captain. He went straight into the action with the ball after Sri Lanka were sent in to bat first. The left-arm spinner in his first over gave away just three runs and in the first ball of his second over removed opener Danushka Gunathilaka for four.Tigers bowlers used perfectlyBangladesh had come into the decider boosted with Shakib’s return to the national fold. The reign was handed over to the left-arm all-rounder by Mahmudullah and along came the killer confidence. The Tigers bowlers made a flying start, giving away just 37 runs in the power play, and removing four Sri Lanka top-order batsmen. Bangladesh had four blowers to take care of the powerplay in the shape of Shakib, pacers Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman and spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz. Mustafizur picked up two wickets and affected a run out but it was Shakib who had initiated the attack, laying the first blow by dismissing Gunathilaka in the first ball of the third over. However, a back-footed approach, which included not bringing in left-arm spinners to the action due to the two left-handed batsmen in the middle saw Bangladesh bleed runs and allow Sri Lanka to post 159 for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs.Kusal keeps burningLeft-handed batsman Kusal Perera continued his sizzling form, scoring an innings-saving 40-ball 61 to register his third half-century in the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series. Bangladesh had cornered the home side, removing the five top batsmen with only 41 on the board. But Kusal took charge with Thisara Perera and milked 97 for the sixth wicket. This is Kusal’s 10th T20I half-century.
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