Dhaka: Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by 5 wickets and will face Pakistan in the final. 2011 World Cup winner India & finalist Sri Lanka will pack their luggage as both are out of the Asia Cup 2012.
Bangladesh won the toss & decided to field first. Nazmul Hossain greeted his captain by taking 3 quick wickets of Sri Lankan top order batsmen. He first clean bowled Sri Lankan skipper Jayawardene, then sent Sangakkara back and in the 10th over he went through the gates of Dilshan.
The score of Sri Lanka was 37/3 but then Kapugedera and Thirimanne stretched Sri Lankan innings by building a good partnership, they gave tough time to Bangladeshi bowlers specially to Shakib and Shahadat.
After making a partnership of 88 runs with Kapugedera, Thirimanne (48) got out to Abdur Razzaq. It was indeed a lucky breakthrough for Bangladesh. New batsman Upul Tharanga continued his good form and support Kapu in his effort, both added 49 runs together.
Kapugedera was dismissed by Abdur Razzaq at 62. After his return, Sri Lanka tumbled and lost Maharoof (3) and Kulasekara (1) in no time. Upul Tharanga who was looking good gifted his wicket to Shahadat Hossain at 48.
Senanayake and Malinga tried to raise the score and added 19* and 10 respectively. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 232 in 49.5 overs. Nazmul Hossain took 3 wickets, Abdur Razzaq & Shakib Al Hassan took 2, 2 wickets and Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain shared 1 wicket each.
10 overs & 20 runs were deducted because of the rain, the revised target was 212 (40.0 overs).
Bangladesh lost Nazimuddin (6) once again early in the chase, he was followed by Jahurul Islam (2) who also threw his wicket away.
Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim (1) promoted himself up the order but didn’t capitalize the opportunity to strengthen the innings and became victim of Kulasekara.
3 quick wickets silenced the crowd at Shere Bangla National Stadium. Tamim Iqbal was still at the crease, he was joined by old captain Shakib Al Hasan, both took time and created a block to stop the flood which was threatened by the opposition.
Sri Lankan bowlers tried their best but failed to break the defenses of Bengali tigers. Senanayake in 20th over broke the 76-run partnership by sending Tamim (59) back to pavilion.
Senanayake after a couple of overs also sent the other settled batsmen Shakib (56) back to pavilion. Bangladesh supporters felt sad on the return of their best all-rounder.
Young & exciting Nasir Hossain handled the innings carefully with Mahmudullah. Both were tested by short deliveries in the start but later on both enjoyed bad bowling by Sri Lankan seamers.
Bangladesh successfully chased the target by scoring 212/5 with 17 balls remaining. Nasir and Mahmudullah remained not-out at 36 & 32 respectively. Kulasekara and Senanayake shared 2 wicket each whereas Lakmal took 1 wicket.
With this victory, Bangladesh leveled with India on points table (8 points each) but because of head to head counts where Bangladesh defeated India by 5 wickets, Bangladesh have won their spot for the first time in the final of Asia Cup. They’ll face Pakistan in the final on March 22, 2012.
Result: Bangladesh won by 5 wickets.
Man Of The Match: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)