Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka to reach T20 tri-series final
By KRISHAN FRANCIS
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Mahmudullah smashed a six off the second-to-last delivery in a dramatic final over for Bangladesh to beat Sri Lanka by two wickets on Friday and qualify for the Twenty20 tri-series final.
Tournament host Sri Lanka will miss the climax of its own party. Bangladesh will face India in the final on Sunday.
Bangladesh needed 12 off the last four balls and nearly left the field and forfeited the match after protesting that the umpires did not award them a no ball.
However, when play resumed Mahmudullah hit 4-2-6 off left-arm medium-pacer Isuru Udana. The winning hit was over backward square leg, and Mahmudullah was mobbed by his teammates. Sri Lanka and its fans were left stunned.
Bangladesh won the toss, made Sri Lanka bat first, and the host tallied a competitive 159-7.
Sri Lanka slumped to 41-5 but Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera shared 97 runs for the sixth wicket off 61 balls to lift their team.
Perera top-scored with 61 off 40 deliveries including seven boundaries and a six, and Perera hit three sixes and three boundaries for a 37-ball 58.
Left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman took two wickets for 39 runs for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh also lost two wickets early in its chase but Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim shared 64 runs for the third wicket.
When Rahim was out for 28 in the 13th over, Bangladesh was comfortably placed needing 63 runs off 45 deliveries with seven wickets remaining.
However, they stumbled to be 148-8.
The last over began with Bangladesh needing 12 to win. Mustafizur Rahman whiffed at the first short delivery, and again at the second bouncer. But he and Mahmudullah ran a single, only for Mustafizur to be run out at the bowler's end.
But a dispute arose with the umpires for not awarding Bangladesh a no-ball as Udana exceeded the solitary bouncer allowed per over.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan called his batsmen off the field as players from both teams engaged in heated arguments.
When faced with forfeit and disqualification, Bangladesh relented, and the batsmen returned to the crease.
And Mahmudullah completed the chase in emphatic fashion, with a boundary through the covers, two runs from a shot to deep midwicket, and the six from what appeared to be a mere flick.
Tamim, who launched the chase, scored 50 off 42 balls including two sixes and four boundaries, and Mahmudullah finished with a match-winning 43 not out off 18 balls.
Updated March 16, 2018