Nidahas Trophy 3rd Match: Rahim stars as Bangladesh pull off record run chase

Mushfiqur Rahim 72 not out Sri Lanka Bangladesh 3rd Match Nidahas Trophy Colombo cricket

Mushfiqur Rahim exults after leading Bangladesh to victory

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mushfiqur Rahim hammered a career-best 72 not out as Bangladesh completed their highest successful chase in Twenty20 Internationals to stun Sri Lanka by five wickets in Colombo.

Rahim’s heroics in the third game of the Nidahas Trophy also saw Bangladesh pull off their fifth-highest run chase in Twenty20 International history.

Being put in to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to an excellent start as openers Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka amassed a 56-run partnership before Gunathilaka was clean bowled by Mustafizur Rahman for 26.

Mendis and Kusal Perera kept the runs flowing with an 85-run stand before Mendis was caught by Sabbir Rahman off the bowling of stand-in captain Mahmudullah for 57, which came off 30 balls and included two boundaries and five sixes.

Kusal Mendis 57 Sri Lanka Bangladesh 3rd Match Nidahas Trophy Colombo cricket

Kusal Mendis struck his third half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mahmudullah struck again three balls later as Dasun Shanaka, who failed to trouble the scorers, was also caught by Sabbir.

Sri Lanka stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal didn’t fare much as he was dismissed by Taskin Ahmed for two runs.

Kusal and Upul Tharanga halted Bangladesh’s comeback with a 55-run partnership before Kusal was caught behind off the bowling of Mustafizur for 74, which came off 48 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes.

Kusal Perera 74 Sri Lanka Bangladesh 3rd Match Nidahas Trophy Colombo cricket

Kusal Perera scored his ninth fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Thanks to Kusal’s knock and Tharanga’s unbeaten 32 off 15 balls, Sri Lanka finished on 214/6 off their 20 overs, which is their fourth-highest total in Twenty20 Internationals.

Mustafizur was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Mahmudullah snapped up two and Taskin chipped in with one.

Chasing 215 to win, Bangladesh got off to a superb start as Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal amassed a 74-run partnership before Liton was trapped lbw off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep for a 19-ball 43, which included two boundaries and five sixes.

Tamim went on to score 47 off 29 deliveries, which included six boundaries and a six, before he was caught and bowled by Thisara Perera.

Soumya Sarkar and Rahim stabilised the innings with a 51-run partnership before Sarkar was caught and bowled by Pradeep for 24.

Even though Mahmudullah was dismissed by Dushmantha Chameera for 20 and Sabbir was run out for a duck, Rahim continued taking the attack to Sri Lanka and ended up finishing things with two balls to spare.

Rahim ended up making 72 off 35 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes.

Pradeep was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Chameera and Thisara claimed one wicket each.

Chandimal was gutted to have lost, and said: “It was a really good game of cricket and credit to the batsmen. It was a really good wicket but as a bowling unit we did not execute well. I am sure they will come back in the next game. We tried but the wicket was too good to bat. The Kusals are in good form and it really gives the batting unit confidence. So, looking forward to the next game.”

Mahmudullah was over the moon to have won, and said: “I think it was a game of quite a bit of nerves. The bowlers did try in the first innings but it was a really good wicket to bat on. It was great the result came in our way. To be honest, from the beginning we thought we could win.

“Tamim and Liton gave us a good start. Then Mushy was outstanding. It was amazing to see and good inspiration for us. We knew they might bowl Akila in the first or second over, and that’s why we sent Liton at the top of the order.”

Rahim was named Man of the Match, and said: “Really we badly needed that win. Credit goes to the batsmen for holding their nerve. The way Liton and Tamim set it up for us was outstanding. It was a nice track to bat on. I dedicate this knock to my son; he’s just 35 days old. At the end of the day, winning is the most important. I was just having a cramp, and hopefully I will recover for the next match.”

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