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Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2023: Key Highlights


Cricket  •  1 Sept, 2023  •  2,253 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Anand Swami


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In the 2023 Asia Cup clash at Pallekele, Bangladesh, under the leadership of Shakib Al Hasan, faced an uphill battle against Sri Lanka. Opting to bat first seemed a perilous decision, as early wickets tumbled and the Lankan bowlers capitalized. With formidable bowling figures and noteworthy partnerships, the game was set for an enthralling chase by the Sri Lankan team.

Bangladesh’s Early Collapse

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Under the captaincy of Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh opted to bat first. This decision, however, led to an immediate setback as they lost their first three wickets for only 36 runs. The unfortunate sequence began with Mahesh Theekshana trapping debutant Tanzid Hasan lbw on just his second ball, signalling a challenging start for the Bangladeshi lineup.

Sri Lanka’s Stellar Bowling Performance

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Sri Lanka's bowlers took centre stage, with Dhananjaya de Silva and Matheesha Pathirana taking pivotal early wickets. Most notably, Pathirana, in only his fifth ODI, delivered a memorable performance, clinching four wickets and restricting Bangladesh to 164. This combined effort underscored Sri Lanka's dominating presence in the match.

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The Valiant Effort of Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Hossain Shanto

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Despite the early losses, Bangladesh found hope in Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Hossain Shanto. The duo built a 59-run partnership, attempting to stabilize the innings. Their efforts, though commendable, faced numerous challenges, including the wily bowling of Dasun Shanaka, who broke their partnership.

Sri Lanka’s Chase – A Tale of Persistence

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Sri Lanka’s chase began precariously, with an early loss of three wickets for 43 runs. However, the duo of Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka showcased resilience. Scoring individual half-centuries, they pushed the Lankans closer to the target. This effort culminated in Sri Lanka’s record 11th consecutive ODI victory.

Captains Speak

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Post-match reflections saw contrasting viewpoints. Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka's captain, lauded his bowlers, especially highlighting Maheesh Theekshana's role. On the other hand, Shakib Al Hasan conceded that Bangladesh's batting unit faltered. Expressing faith in his team, Shakib hoped for a stronger performance in the upcoming matches.

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Bangladesh's Downward Spiral

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Post the solid partnership between Hridoy and Shanto, Bangladesh faced another collapse. The team struggled to maintain momentum after Shanto’s dismissal by Theekshana's crafty carrom ball. The tail-end couldn't withstand the Lankan bowling assault, with the last six wickets falling for just 37 runs, limiting the score to 164.

The Key Players Behind the Lankan Victory

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Matheesha Pathirana's outstanding bowling garnered him the "Player of the Match" award. His unique approach was credited as being highly effective against the Bangladeshi batsmen. Sadeera Samarawickrama's batting prowess was also highlighted, with him mentioning the pitch's challenges and his strategy to counter them during the chase.

Conclusion

While the Bangladeshis showed glimpses of hope, especially through Hridoy and Shanto's partnership, it was Sri Lanka's day from the get-go, courtesy of their outstanding bowling and steady chase. Captains of both sides acknowledged the match's pivotal moments and performances, leaving fans and spectators anticipating the upcoming fixtures in the tournament. This match was a clear testament to Sri Lanka's continued ODI dominance.

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