Shakib helps Bangladesh overcome Sri Lanka
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Event:Bangladesh Tri-Series 2008/09

DateLine: 14th January 2009


Shakib with the bat and Mortaza with the ball engineered a huge win over Sri Lanka and stormed through to the final. In the process they gained the bonus point to set up the title clash. Shakib once again kept his head and guided his team across the line and finished with 92 of 69 balls which included ten fours and two sixers. The way he negotiated the spin twins Mendis and Murali was simply mind blowing. Inspired bowling performances from vice-captain Mashrafe Mortaza and debutant Rubel Hossain restricted Sri Lanka to 147. The game was reduced to 31 overs each after more than three hours of play were lost due to fog with a 6-3-3 Powerplay split, with a maximum of seven overs for any one bowler and six each for four others.


Mashrafe struck twice in his first two overs, removing Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara. Mashrafe also removed Sri Lanka's top scorer Sanath Jayasuriya, whose fifty was largely responsible for pushing the visitors to a somewhat respectable total. Mahela Jayawardene and Jayasuriya brought up the 50-run partnership in the 12th over. Naeem though, managed to break the stand in the 18th over when Jayawardene holed out to Rubel at deep-midwicket while attempting a slog sweep. Mashrafe was then brought on soon after as Bangladesh looked to shackle the opposition. Jayasuriya brought up his half-century off 61 balls, but he perished soon to leave Sri Lanka in a spot of bother at 95 for 4.


Sri Lanka then lost five wickets in a space of four overs. Jehan Mubarak was run out for 10, Angelo Mathews was caught by Mashrafe at mid-on off Rubel, while Kapugedera chopped on to his stumps. Rubel struck twice in the 29th over, to remove Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara with the first and last deliveries. Rubel helped himself to the spoils, ending with 4 for 33, and was responsible for the damage towards the end.


Bangladesh once again got off to a poor start when they lost Junaid Siddique for a duck in the very first over. Rahim who came at the fall of the first wicket was also sent back to the pavilion in no time and Bangladesh looked in some serious strife. The scenario became worst when Iqbal set off to an non-existent run and was dismissed and the scoreboard read 11 for 3 in 4 overs and all familiar Bangladeshi collapse was being unfolded when Shakib stepped into the cauldron.


Shakib has no developed into a consistent batsman in both forms of the game for Bangladesh and it is to him that the team looks to when they find themselves in troubled waters. He was joined at the crease by the maverick Ashraful and just when everyone thought that he would lose his head and throw it away he buckled down and played sensibly. Bangladesh needed to reach the target in 24.5 overs to get the bonus point and also ensure a safe passage to the final. Both the batsman took a little bit of time to settle down, surveyed the field and assessed the situation and more importantly paled positive cricket. They found the needed boundaries, ran the ones and twos and more importantly did not allow the spin duo to settle into a rhythm.


Just when they were sailing to the safe shores of the match, they lost Ashraful against the run of play. He was caught by Jayasuriya off Kulasekara at fine leg when he tried for an ambitious hook shot. The partnership was worth 92 runs and the equation was down to a gettable 45 in 12 overs, more importantly 45 in 36 balls for that elusive bonus point. It was at that time that one was able to see Shakib's clear thinking in such a dicey situation. Shakib once again kept his head down and was there till the very end when the winning six was struck.


Bangladesh now meet Sri Lanka in the final of the Tri Nations Cup which is to be played on Friday.




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