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Mahmudullah inspires Bangladesh in thrilling chase to set up final against India

Mahmdullah helped Bangladesh pull out a thriller
Mahmdullah helped Bangladesh pull out a thriller

Bangladesh 160-8 (Mahmudullah 43no) beat
Sri Lanka 159-7 (Kusal 61) by two wickets
6th game, Nidahas Trophy, Colombo

Mahmdullah slammed a decisive 18-ball 43 run-knock including 12 off final over as Bangladesh pulled out a thrilling chase of 160 runs with two wickets and one ball to spare in the sixth game of the Nidahas Trophy against Sri Lanka in Colombo to set up a final clash against India.

Controversy triggers Mahmudullah

With 12 runs needed off the final over, Mustafizur Rahman (0) was treated with two back to back short pitch deliveries that went over the shoulder, though in the second one he was run out looking for a bye to bring Mahmudullah (43 not out) back on strike. Bangladesh were vivid by the decision of the umpires not to signal a no ball for the second bouncer even though it was within the head height. At one stage, skipper Shakib Al Hasan (7) even asked the players to return back to the dressing room to stage a protest but Mahmudullah had other plans. He smashed a boundary to sweeper cover to bring down the equation to eight runs off 4 deliveries following which he was handed a reprieve when a run out chance was missed when he was on the look out for the second run. With six needed off two deliveries, he flicked a delivery from Isuru Udana (1-26) to deep square leg to complete the chase in style for Bangladesh.

Tamim scores 50 but early wickets dent Bangladesh

Chasing 160 for a win, Bangladesh were rocketed early by a double strike from Akila Dananjaya (2-37) who sent Liton Das (0) and Sabbir Rahman (13) back. However, Tamim Iqbal's (50) onslaught meant, Bangladesh still ended the powerplay strong at 50 for two. Mushfiqur Rahim (28) could not repeat his fluency from the previous two innings and was going at run a ball as Tamim completed his first 50 against Sri Lanka off 41 deliveries. However, regular strikes from the Sri Lankan bowlers meant the pressure was kept on Bangladesh as they needed 50 runs to win off the final deliveries with five wickets in hand.

The Pereras show

Earlier, Sri Lanka started their innings in a bizarre manner as they lost Danushka Gunathilaka (4), Kusal Mendis (11), Upul Tharanga (5), Dasun Shanaka (0) and Jeevan Mendis (5) in the first nine overs and were reduced to 41 for five. It looked like they might be bowled out well under 100 but Kusal Perera (61) played a brilliant counterattacking inning and along with Thisara Perera (58), the duo helped Sri Lanka recover with their 97 run stand. Between them they smashed 10 boundaries and four sixes and were pivotal in Sri Lanka posting 159 on the board.

What next?

With the hosts knocked out of the tournament, Bangladesh and India will face each other in the final on Sunday at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to decide the winner of the Nidahas Trophy.

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