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Tigers begin T20 WC mission beating SL by 2 wickets

Leg spinner Rishad Ahmed and experienced pacer Mustafizur Rahman bowled brilliantly to bring Bangladesh back into the game after Sri Lanka were put in to bat and got off to a fast start in the powerplay, in Bangladesh’s opening match of the T20 World Cup in Dallas, Texas.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have worked up an unlikely rivalry in liited overs cricket in particular in recent times. In the last T20I series played in Bangladesh, the Lankans emerged victorious. Recent matches have shown that Bangladesh has yet to prove they can consistently challenge Sri Lanka.

However, on Friday evening in Dallas (Saturday morning in Dhaka), Bangladesh’s bowlers took control.

Taskin Ahmed, who was initially questionable for the match due to a fitness issue, struck in the second over to remove Kusal Mendis for 10 runs. Mendis had started aggressively with two boundaries before being dismissed.

Sri Lanka were 48/1 off 5 overs, when Mustafiz was introduced into the attack. He then took two wickets in the sixth and eighth overs. He dismissed Kamindu Mendis with his first ball and then Pathum Nissanka, who top-scored for Sri Lanka with 47 runs off 28 balls. Nissanka’s innings included seven fours and a six.

Rishad Hossain, the legspinner who is steadily gaining prominence in Bangladesh cricket, bowled a crucial 14th over. He removed both Charith Asalanka (19 runs) and Wanindu Hasaranga (a golden duck) in two consecutive deliveries, breaking a promising partnership.

Sri Lanka’s innings faltered in the final overs as Tanzim Hasan Sakib claimed two wickets in the 19th over, including the key wicket of Angelo Mathews. Mathews was caught at short third man for 16 runs, becoming Sakib’s first World Cup wicket.

Sri Lanka finished their innings at 124 for nine in 20 overs, marking their lowest score while batting first against Bangladesh in T20 Internationals.

Whoever wins the match will be in a strong position to qualify for the next stage of the tournament.