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Kolkata Knight Riders star Shakib Al Hasan came up with an all-round performance as Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the final league encounter of the Asia Cup played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here in Dhaka today. The result knocks India out of the tournament while allowing the hosts the opportunity to clash with Pakistan in the final on March 22.
Bangladesh, who had four points from two games owing to their win against India in their previous league game, needed to beat Sri Lanka to qualify for the final. After captain Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and elected to field, medium-pacer Nazmul Hossain, who hadn’t played a single game in the competition, put the opposition on the back-foot by removing their top three batsmen before the first 10 overs of the game had been bowled.
Chamara Kapugegedera (62) and Lahiru Thirimanne (48) nevertheless saved the Lankan innings from imploding with an 88-run stand for the fourth wicket. Upul Tharanga, batting at No. 6, also contributed with a quick 44-ball 48, but with the left-arm spin combination of Shakib and Abdur Razzak taking four wickets between them, the hosts bowled Sri Lanka out for 232 in 49.5 overs.
With rain playing spoilsport at the beginning of the Bangladesh innings, the match was reduced to 40 overs with the hosts needing to chase 212 under the Duckworth/Lewis method. When the match finally resumed, Bangladesh were reduced to 40 for three in 7.1 overs, but half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal (59) and Shakib (56) put Bangladesh on course to chase down the score. Shakib was particularly combative in his innings as he brought up his second half-century score of the competition off just 46 deliveries. With Nasir Hossain (36*) and Mahmudullah (32*) sharing a 77-run unbeaten stand for the sixth wicket, the hosts reached home with 17 deliveries left to be bowled in the game.
Bangladesh’s win meant that they were tied with India at eight points after three league matches. However, it was Bangladesh who progressed to the final by virtue of having beaten India earlier in the tournament.
Brief Scores:Bangladesh 212/5 in 37.1 overs (Tamim Iqbal 59, Shakib Al Hasan 56, Nuwan Kulasekara 2/30) beat Sri Lanka 232/10 in 49.5 overs (Chamara Kapugedera 62, Nazmul Hossain 3/32, Shakib Al Hasan 2/56) by five wickets under the D/L method
Man-of-the-match: Shakib Al Hasan for his all-round performance; 10-1-56-2 and 46-ball 56 (7x4)
Fielding coach Jonty Rhodes and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha joined the Mumbai Indians team for practice at the Wankhede Stadium today.
Under Rhodes’ watch, the players were seen practicing in batches. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sushant Marathe was one of the first to train on his wicketkeeping. The rest of the players were later given catching, throwing and fielding practice. The South African engaged in discussions with the cricketers regarding techniques to enhance their fielding during the sessions.
Marathe continued to slog it out in the field and kept practicing with other coaches and trainers between sessions with Rhodes. Ojha bowled and later batted for while.
Another wicketkeeper batsman in the Mumbai Indians line-up, Ambati Rayudu was amongst those who took the opportunity to hit the bowlers all over the park. India player RP Singh, who is in his first season with the Mumbai franchise, also had a bowl and a session with the bat – apart from some fielding practice.
Although some of their stars are yet to join the team, the Mumbai Indians have already shown their eagerness in their training sessions to make a run for the league trophy in IPL 2012.