Cornered Tigers caged the Lions in own den

Saleque Sufi

Colombo win is the amendment of Bangalore defeat: Tamim interprets
Nidahas Tri Nation T20 Tournament played at Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Bangladesh 215/5 (Mushfiqur Rahim 72*, Tamim Iqbal 47, Litton K Das 43, N Pradeep 2/37) beat Sri Lanka 214/6 (Kusal Perera 74, Kusal Mendis 47, Mustafiz 3/48) by 5 wickets

Cornered Tigers hunted lions in anger. After losing first match to India, it was a do or die situation for team Tigers yesterday. Win they stay loose they had to start packing their kits for flying home.

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Rest of the matches would have academic interests only. Bangladesh with back to the wall brilliantly bounced back. Notwithstanding a huge target to chase and putting their recent poor form buried, sizzling team Tigers stormed the Premadasa Stadium yesterday with determined batting.

Set to overhauling a record 214/6, Bangladesh not only produced its highest chasing record in T20 international, it also set a new record for target chase in Sri Lanka by any team.

The win of Bangladesh lighted Nidahas trophy making it one all for all three teams playing against one another at least once. For Bangladesh it was awakening after a slumber. Over the last 15 T20 international it was only their second win.

Litton Das played an explosive innings of 43 in 19 deliveries at the outset, Tamim found his sweet touch scoring 47 in 29 balls but majestic Mushfiqur striking unbeaten 72 in only 35 deliveries played one of the most entertaining T20 international innings ever seen.

His celebration after taking Bangladesh across told of a lot. Bangladesh is well into this Triangular tournament. The return group matches would be thrillers.

The storm that Bangladesh created after Sri Lanka set a daunting task of climbing Himalayan peak must have Tsunami the home camp. Their innings was studded with spectacular boundaries also.

Two Pereras – Kusal and Mendis were brilliant. Mendis smoked 57 of 30 deliveries, Perera bludgeoning 74 off 49 led them set a steep task for Bangladesh of overhauling 214/6 in 20 overs. Many thought in their recent uncertain form and without their ace all-rounder Shakib it was well beyond them.

The wicket had plenty of runs. It had really nothing for any bowlers. Bangladesh tricked Lankans sending inform right hander Litton K Das pairing Tamim at the top for taking on Dhananjaya. The gamble worked.

Litton had rollicking start. He was brute and savage on Dhananjaya. He set fire in the terrace heavily populated by Bengal Tigers in yellow with a blistering 43 in 19 balls in the power play.

While he was doing this otherwise prolific Tamim was not an spectator from the other end. He too started matching stroke for stroke. The pair put on 74 in only 35 deliveries. The seeds were sown for a hot run chase. The do or die aggression for the first time for a while worried Lankan captain shuffling his bowling resources and setting the field.

Soumya struggled with his usual timing. But even then struck some hefty blows in his brief innings of 20.

But the innings of the day was played by little Mushy. Opening his account with a trademark reverse sweep he announced his intention. What followed was a fairy tale. He drove, cut pulled and touched deft all around the wicket. He never allowed any cheap over.

Mahmudullah and Sabbir left in quick succession. But Majestic Mushfiqur kept the target in sight. His nine boundaries four sixes and five fours were all exceptional. If Chandimal packed his scoring arc with fielders he went over them or somehow worked up gaps.

Actually when a determined batsman is in such a prolific form nothing can stop them. Bemused Premadasa crowd witnessed a champion batsman doing his act.

His special celebration after scoring the winning run perhaps vented his frustration for the treatment he got from the team management since South Africa tour. Boys also had a huge sigh of relief. Horses for the courses must be the way to go.

Bowling and fielding must smarten further. On such wicket, bowling wicket to wicket is the key which neither side did on the day.

Anyway, we always told Bangladesh need just a win to get back into their own. The long losing streak was not reflection of their recent state of cricket. Hope they can keep the momentum going. There won’t be much joy if Bangladesh can not appear in the final of the tournament.

Another win should do that for sure.

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