Bangladesh prevail in dramatic finish

Tempers fray as visitors nail Lanka to make final

Bangladesh prevail in dramatic finish

Bangladesh entered the final of the Nidahas Trophy, setting up a clash against India after emotions boiled over in a thrilling win marred by disgraceful behaviour which included Shakib-al-Hasan threatening to forfeit the match. In the event, Mahmudullah kept a cool head, hitting Isuru Udana for a six off the penultimate ball of the match to take Bangladesh to the target of 160.

The trouble, which had been brewing throughout the game, with Bangladesh's players being far more aggressive than they had earlier in the tournament, possibly emboldened by the return of Shakib, boiled over in the final over.

With 12 to win and Mustafizur Rahman on strike, Udana bowled a bouncer first up: swing and a miss, review for the catch behind, turned down. The second ball was another short one, another play and miss, this time the batsmen went for the bye and Mustafizur was run out at the bowler's end. The square-leg umpire, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, appeared to signal a no-ball, on height, and then change his decision, which angered Bangladesh's dressing-room no end.

Substitutes ran out onto the field and got into a shouting match with some of Sri Lanka's cricketers, and Shakib, standing on the boundary edge with the fourth umpire, signalled to his batsmen to walk off the field. This would have meant them forfeiting the game, something the man leading the team for the first time in this tournament, believed was warranted. Fortunately for Bangladesh, good sense prevailed and Mahmudullah stayed on.

Mahmudullah latched onto a wide, full delivery from Udana, slashing it over the off side for four. Of the next ball, Mahmudullah clipped a full toss behind square to pick up two and stay on strike, with six needed from the final two deliveries of the innings. Udana searched for the yorker once more, but he was fractionally off target and Mahmudullah was in perfect position, half expecting the ball, and clouted it over backward square-leg for six. Unbeaten on 43, from only 18 balls, Mahmudullah had sealed an intense and famous win.

As the Bangladesh players ran out onto the field, pulling out the Nagin dance now made famous by their team, tensions were once again on the boil and several players from both teams had to restrained by their team-mates from making the incident even more ugly than it was.

In the first half of the day, it was all calm and quiet after Bangladesh tore into Sri Lanka's top order, having put them in to bat. Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dasun Shanaka and Jeevan Mendis all fell early, leaving Sri Lanka tottering at 41 for five. A rout appeared on the cards but Kusal Perera, the form player for Sri Lanka in the tournament, refused to let go.

Batting out of his skin yet well within himself, Kusal rebuilt the innings in the company of Thisara. Kusal made 61 and Thisara 58, his first half-century in this format, as Sri Lanka posted 159 for seven on a slowing pitch.

Bangladesh began their chase calmly enough, Tamim Iqbal keeping his end up with an even 50 even as wickets fell at the other end. From a comfortable 97 for two, they were pegged back to 137 for six, and   here the trouble began. Thankfully, the game was completed, even if the hosts were knocked out of their own tournament.



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