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Bangladesh Starts World Cup with a Win Under Pressure

Towhid Hridoy hit three consecutive sixes off Wanindu Hasaranga, eliciting cheers from the gallery.

At that point, the match was almost in Bangladesh’s grasp, but the pressure remained high. When Mahmudullah Riyad scored two runs on the last ball of the 19th over, victory was secured.

However, there were moments of concern before that. After the win, there was relief. The past few weeks of losses and widespread criticism had put Bangladesh against the wall. Winning the first World Cup match signaled a partial comeback for Najmul Hossain Shanto’s team.

On Saturday, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by 2 wickets in a T20 World Cup match in Dallas. Sri Lanka batted first and scored 124 runs for 9 wickets. Bangladesh chased down the target with an over to spare.

After winning the toss and choosing to field, captain Najmul Hossain Shanto handed the ball to Tanzim Hasan Sakib in the first over. Pathum Nissanka hit a boundary off the second ball, and five runs came from the over. Shakib Al Hasan gave away 8 runs in the second over, including a four from an overthrow.

Taskin Ahmed, returning from injury, bowled the third over but initially struggled with his rhythm. Kusal Mendis hit two fours off his first two balls, but Taskin got a wicket on the third ball. Kusal Mendis, caught in two minds, edged the ball outside off stump onto the stumps, scoring 10 runs off 8 balls. Taskin conceded 12 runs in that over.

Taskin returned for the fourth over, conceding only seven runs despite a six. Shakib Al Hasan struggled in the fifth over, with Nissanka hitting four boundaries. Shanto brought in Mustafizur Rahman for the last over of the powerplay.

Mustafizur took a wicket on his first ball, with Kamindu Mendis getting caught at mid-off for 4 runs off 5 balls. Despite the wickets, Sri Lanka continued to hit boundaries, scoring 53 runs for 2 wickets after the powerplay.

After the powerplay, Sri Lanka’s run rate slowed. Pathum Nissanka remained fluent but was dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman. Nissanka scored 47 runs off 27 balls with 7 fours and 1 six. Following his departure, the run rate further slowed. Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva’s partnership brought only one boundary in 32 balls. Rishad Hossain broke their 30-run partnership and took the final wickets of the innings.

In the 15th over, Asalanka, attempting a big hit, was caught by Shakib at backward square leg after scoring 19 runs off 21 balls. Shanto placed a slip for Hasaranga, who was caught on his first ball. Rishad conceded only 3 runs and took 2 wickets in that over.

Rishad took another wicket in his next over, with Dhananjaya edging to Liton, who stumped him for 21 runs off 26 balls. Taskin dismissed Shanaka, conceding only 3 runs in the 18th over. Mustafizur conceded 2 runs and took Thikshana’s wicket in the next over.

In the final over, Tanzim Hasan Sakib conceded 7 runs but dismissed Angelo Mathews. All Bangladesh bowlers performed well, with Rishad Hossain taking 3 wickets for 22 runs in 4 overs, and Mustafizur Rahman taking 3 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs. Taskin gave 25 runs for 2 wickets in 4 overs, Shakib was wicketless with 30 runs in 3 overs, and Tanzim gave 24 runs for 1 wicket in 4 overs.

Chasing 125 runs, Bangladesh lost their first wicket on the third ball. Soumya Sarkar was caught at mid-on for a duck off Dhananjaya de Silva. Bangladesh managed only three runs in the first over and lost another wicket in the second over.

Tanjid Hasan Tamim was bowled by Nuwan Thushara for 3 runs off 6 balls. Najmul Hossain Shanto and Liton Das tried to stabilize the innings with singles but lost momentum when Shanto was caught off Thushara’s bowling. Shanto and Liton’s 22-run partnership ended after 22 balls. In contrast to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh managed only two boundaries in the powerplay, scoring 34 runs for 3 wickets.

Towhid Hridoy joined Liton Das and kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and occasional boundaries. Hridoy was dismissed in the 15th over by Hasaranga but not before bringing Bangladesh close to victory with three consecutive sixes off the first three balls of Hasaranga’s over. Hridoy scored 40 runs off 20 balls with 1 four and 4 sixes before getting out LBW.

Despite Hridoy’s dismissal, Bangladesh faced pressure again when set batsman Liton Das was LBW by Hasaranga for 36 runs off 38 balls. Shakib Al Hasan was caught brilliantly by Maheesh Theekshana off Pathirana’s bouncer, scoring only 8 runs off 14 balls.

The match’s momentum shifted dramatically, and Bangladesh faced immense pressure despite needing only a few runs. Nuwan Thushara’s 18th over saw Rishad Hossain getting bowled for 1 run off 3 balls, and Taskin was LBW on the next ball.

With 12 runs needed off the last two overs and only two wickets in hand, Sri Lanka also felt the pressure. Dasun Shanaka came to bowl the 19th over for the first time and was hit for a six by Mahmudullah Riyad on his first ball. Mahmudullah took a single on the next ball, and with the resilience of Tanzim Hasan and Mahmudullah, Bangladesh won the match before the final over. Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 16 runs off 13 balls.

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