About the Match
Bangladesh continued its winning juggernaut as it defeated Zimbabwe again on Tuesday by 91 runs; the hosts are perched right on top of the table with 15 points after 3 straight wins and will take on 2nd place holders Sri Lanka on 25th January at Mirpur for the 6th game of the series. With the finals around the corner, Sri Lanka will try to accumulate more points to make it through after defeating Zimbabwe by 5 wickets recently in a comeback match. Both teams went up against each other earlier last week wherein the hosts dominated the game and won it by a whopping 163 runs.
Batting first against Zimbabwe, Tamim Iqbal posted 76 runs while Shakib Al Hasan contributed with 51; however, others failed to impress with the bat and they could muster only 216 runs. Having a tough task at hand, spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Sunzamul Islam claimed 5 wickets between them at regular intervals while speedsters Mustafizur Rahman, Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain choked the visitors’ chase and helped win the match by a big margin of 91 runs.
Earlier against Sri Lanka, they set a target of 321 runs batting first thanks to a powerful knock of 84 by Tamim Iqbal and good contributions by Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who pitched in with 60+ runs each. Anamul Haque scored 35 while all-rounders Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman contributed with 24 runs each. In the bowling department, Shakib shone with 3-47 in 8 overs while Mortaza and Rubel Hossain took 2 wickets each to stifle Lanka at 157 all-out and register a massive win by 163 runs.
Bangladesh has excelled in all departments of the game and could continue to strangle the visitors here to make a clean dash into the finals.
Facing elimination, Sri Lanka made a good comeback as they defeated Zimbabwe by 5 wickets in the last game. Kusal Perera and Mendis clubbed together to help build a good foundation while chasing 199 runs; the duo posted a 70-run partnership and kept the scoreboard ticking as Perera finished on 49 and Mendis pitched in with 36. Dinesh Chandimal then posted 38 runs while Thisara Perera brought in 39 off 26 to steer the team towards a big win. Earlier, Thisara showcased his all-rounder skills, taking a superb 4-33 in 8 overs to stifle the Zimbabweans. Fast-bowler Nuwan Pradeep showed class as he took 3-28 and left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan claimed 2 wickets to restrict the opponents to 198 all-out.
When they had met the hosts earlier, despite a good show by Thisara Perera, Pradeep, Dananjaya and Gunaratne, they couldn’t stop Bangladesh batsmen from posting 320 runs. The batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards during the chase and they were all out for a meagre 157 by the 33rd over. Chandimal, Upul Tharanga and T Perera tried to revive the innings by scoring 20+ runs each but it wasn’t enough.
Sri Lanka has kept its hopes alive by winning the match against Zimbabwe, and now they will try to come out all guns blazing to make it to the finals of the tri series.
Sri Lanka has received a boost to its morale with their recent victory and has good resources to upset the hosts; however, we feel that with an in-form top order and a precise spin combination, Bangladesh are clear favourites to win this match too.