Murali rescues Sri Lanka

Bangladesh waste strong position in final of tri-series

Last Updated: 16/01/09 7:18pm

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Muralitharan: match-winning innings

Muralitharan: match-winning innings

Sky Bet

Triangular Tournament Final
Mirpur
Bangladesh 152 v Sri Lanka 153-8 (K C Sangakkara 59)
Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 2 wkts

Muttiah Muralitharan smashed 33 from 16 balls to seal a two-wicket win for Sri Lanka over Bangladesh in the triangular series final.

Muralitharan's late cameo saw his side overhaul a target of 153 having been 6-5 early in the chase and 114-8 when he arrived at the crease.

The turning point came in the 46th over - the first of the final powerplay - when Muralitharan took 20 runs, including three fours and a six, off the unfortunate Rubel Hossain.

Medium pacer Rubel's (0-52) nightmare was complete when his next over, the 48th, disappeared for another 12 before Farveez Maharoof hit the winning run off Naeem Islam (0-29) with 11 deliveries to spare.

Sri Lanka's early collapse started when opener Sanath Jayasuriya (0) was run out at the non-striker's end from the first ball of the innings.

Nazmul Hossain then claimed three quick wickets and new-ball partner Mashrafe Mortaza chipped in with one as Upul Tharanga (2), Mahela Jayawardene (0), Chamara Kapugedera (1) and Thilan Thushara (1) all departed cheaply.

Recovery

Kumar Sangakkara led a partial recovery with a painstaking 59 off 132 balls, sharing stands of 45 with Jehan Mubarak (16) and 63 with Maharoof.

But Sangakkara fell to Shakib Al Hasan's left-arm spin at the start of the 44th over and Shakib (2-22) followed up two balls later by bowling Nuwan Kulasekara for a duck to leave Sri Lanka on the brink of defeat at 114-8.

Muralitharan, however, had other ideas and joined Maharoof (38no) in a match-winning stand of 39 to complete a remarkable escape act.

Earlier, Bangladesh had been bowled out for 152 in 49.4 overs after being asked to bat at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Kulasekara ripped through the top order with the new ball, dismissing Junaid Siddique (1) and Mushfiqur Rahim (4) to put the Tigers in early trouble at 12-2.

Maharoof, preferred to Angelo Mathews in the starting XI, then claimed the prized wicket of Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful (13) and Kulasekara (3-19) quickly added a third victim, Tamim Iqbal (18) caught behind.

Meltdown

When Thushara (1-20) sent back dangerman Shakib for just nine, Bangladesh were tottering on the brink of complete meltdown at 54-5.

Raqibul Hasan at least brought a semblance of respectability to the scorecard with an unbeaten 43 as wickets continued to tumble around him.

Raqibul and Mahmudullah led a recovery before Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene introduced his trump cards - off-spin duo Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.

Muralitharan, after four tight overs, bowled Mahmudullah for 26, ending a sixth-wicket association which yielded 44 runs.

Raqibul forged on and added 53 runs for the seventh wicket with Naeem (21), getting Bangladesh past the 150-run mark in the process.

But Muralitharan (2-33) and Mendis - who removed Naeem - cleaned up the tail leaving Raqibul stranded seven runs short of a half-century.

Mendis collected 3-24 in 9.4 overs, while Kulasekara finished with 3-19 from eight.

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