Dasun Shanaka guides Sri Lanka to dramatic T20I win over Bangladesh

SYLHET   -  Dasun Shanaka held his nerve under pressure to take two wickets in the final over, snatch­ing a dramatic three-run win for Sri Lanka in the opening T20I of a three-match series against Bangladesh in Sylhet on Monday. Set a target of 207 runs, lower middle-order batsmanJaker Ali took Bangladesh close with his maiden fifty before Shanaka ended his 34-ball in­nings of 68 with the third ball of the last over. Shoriful Islam hit a four from the next ball, leaving Bangla­desh requiring six from their last two balls. But the hosts could man­age only two runs to be restricted to 203-8, with Shanaka, who also dismissed Rishad Hos­sain in the first ball of the final over, finishing with 2-36. Former skip­per Angelo Mathews claimed 2-17 to inflict some early damage on the Ban­gladesh innings before veteran Mahmudullah Riyad struck 54 off 31 balls to revive the hopes of the home side. Sadeera Samara­wickrama and Kusal Mendis ear­lier slammed a fifty each to guide Sri Lanka to 206-3 after Bangla­desh sent them in. Samarawick­rama struck an unbeaten 61 off 48 balls after Mendis hit 59 off 36 balls as the visitors overcame a slow start to put up an imposing total. Stand-in skipper Charith Asalanka played his part with an unbeaten 44 from 21 balls. Men­dis and Samarawickrama shared 96 runs for the third wicket af­ter Sri Lanka lost their first two wickets for 37 runs. Shoriful removed Avishka Fernando for four with the second ball of the innings before Taskin Ahmed had Kamindu Mendis caught by Soumya Sarkar at midwicket for 19. Mendis hit leg-spinner Ri­shad for four and two sixes off consecutive balls to race to his fifty off 27 balls.

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