Sri Lanka brace for Asia Cup final with hard fought win

Sri Lanka will enter the Asia Cup final against Pakistan with an unbeaten record after edging out luckless Bangladesh by four wickets in the final round match of the tournament in Mirpur on Thursday.

The hosts on the other hand lost all four round matches, ending the points table at the bottom. Chasing a below par 205 run target, the Sri Lankans were rocked early. The first five wickets fell with the score at 75.

The sixth-wicket stand between captain Angelo Mathews (74) and Chaturanga de Silva (44) revived the Lankans. After de Silva’s demise, Mathews and Thisara Perera took the team close to the target before Perera fell.

Mathews eventually closed out the match in company of Sachithra Senanayake. For Bangladesh pacer Al-Amin Hossain was the most successful bowler claiming two wickets in his 10 over spell.

Bangladesh stutter after solid start

Earlier in the day a 74-run opening stand between Anamul Haque and Shamsur Rehman failed to take the hosts to a big total.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and opted to bat first. Haque who had scored a century in the match against Pakistan on Tuesday, top-scored for his team again, scoring 49 off 86 balls.

Rahman fell for 39 compiled off 57 balls. All-rounders Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah chipped in with valuable contributions, both scored 30 runs. The varied Sri Lankan attack succeeded in tying the batsmen down in the middle overs through a combined effort. Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis and Ashan Priyanjan all claimed two wickets each.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.

Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.