Mustafizur, Shakib set up Bangladesh win

Mustafizur Rahman picked up 4 for 21 and Shakib Al Hasan returned figures of 3 for 24 to help Bangladesh fashion a 45-run win over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 International on Thursday (April 6).

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Victory at the R Premadasa Stadium in the final T20I for Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh skipper, helped the visitor square the two-match series 1-1 and arrest an eight-match losing streak in the format. The teams thus finished the Test, One-Day International and T20I series with identical 1-1 scorelines.

Opting to bat, Bangladesh stacked up 176 for 9 on the back of a frenetic start that saw 68 runs come in the six Power Play overs without loss, and then bowled Sri Lanka out for 131 in 18 overs.

Imrul Kayes, only playing because Tamim Iqbal sat out with a back injury, made 36 off 25 and Soumya Sarkar smashed 34 off just 17 deliveries as the openers put on 71 in 39 deliveries to lay the perfect platform. Shakib then kept up the good work with 38 off 31 deliveries, but Bangladesh’s designs of a really huge score were foiled by Lasith Malinga.

The curly haired Sri Lankan paceman took his first T20I hat-trick and the fourth of his international career, dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim, Mortaza and Mehdi Hasan, the debutant, with the last three balls of his final over – the 19th of the innings – to ensure that the momentum was with the host at the interval.

However, Shakib decisively tilted the scales his team’s way by dismissing Kusal Perera, the hero of the first T20I, with the second ball of the chase and then getting rid of Dilshan Munaweera with his left-arm spin in his next over.

Sri Lanka never got going after that even though Upul Tharanga, the skipper, and Chamara Kapugedera briefly steadied it with a stand of 21 for the third wicket. But as Mustafizur arrived at the bowling crease and winkled out Asela Gunaratne and Milinda Siriwardana with successive deliveries, the fight went out of the home side.

Kapugedera battled on to make the only fifty of the game and Thisara Perera lashed out towards the end, but Sri Lanka had left itself with too much to do.