The latest incarnation of the BangladeshSri Lanka rivalry was a see-saw affair. Chasing 184 at Dubai’s International Stadium, the islanders rode their luck to script a memorable win. As the match veered closer to the end, the tension kept rising. At various times during the Sri Lankan innings, Bangladesh seemed to have the game in its grasp, only to squander it on every occasion. For the Lankans, Kusal Mendis and captain Dasun Shanaka with the bat. Mendis kept them in the game with a well-compiled 60 (off 37 balls). After Mendis’ fall, Shanaka carried the tempo, stroking 45 off 33 balls. But they still required Chamika Karunaratne and Asitha Fernando’s late heroics to see them over the line.

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While Sri Lanka basks in their victory- helping them seal a berth in the Super 4s of the Asia Cup Shakib and Co. will rue their indiscipline with the ball. MOTM Mendis must have felt cat-like during his stay in the crease. Given four reprieves, the Bangladeshis allowed him to assert himself in proceedings. When on 2, wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim let slip a tough chance. He was caught behind off a no-ball on 29, much to Mahedi Hasan and Bangladesh’s dismay. Two runs later, he edged to Mushfiqur down leg-side off Ebadot Hossain’s bowling. The umpire called a wide, the Bangladeshis failed to review, and Mendis remained. Finally, a simple run-out chance went begging when he was on 44.

Despite Mendi’s’ charmed life- he eventually holed out to Taskin Ahmed at third man, off Mustafizur Rahman’s bowling- Sri Lanka still needed 53 off 33 balls at the time of his dismissal. The real culprit of Bangladesh’s loss was the extras- the wides and no-balls- they conceded. It cost them 10 extra balls but was dearer in many more ways. Debutant Ebadot was, particularly, to blame with six wides and two no-balls. After a blistering start, his match spun out of control. In his first over, he had the twin wickets of Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka. In his second, Danushka Gunathilaka top-edged a short-delivery to the diving hands of Taskin. 13 runs and three wickets to his name in 12-plus balls. If Shakib had reviewed Mendis’ nick-not nick, it would’ve been four to his name and three runs less: effectively 4/10 in his two overs. Of the thirteen, however, a cumulative four- five if you include the added ball- runs had come off extras. Still manageable, but it would soon go out of hand for the Sylheti.

Brought back in the 13th over, Shanaka took a shine to him. 22 runs came off his third- including two sixes. He also bowled two wides and a no-ball in the over, conceding four runs off those deliveries. If not for the extra deliveries, he’d perhaps have gone for an additional four to five runs less. Seventeen came off his final over, the 19th of the innings. A no-ball on the third delivery was nudged down fine-leg for four. After Shakib forced a splendid run-out on the fifth delivery, Ebadot chalked up another wide on what would’ve been his final delivery. Asitha Fernando cracked a boundary off the extra ball. Defending 25 off 12, it was now 8 of 6.

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In keeping with the spirit of proceedings, the winning runs came off a Mahedi no-ball. The off-spinner had earlier dismissed Mendis, only to overstep the mark. Further, the additional ten deliveries forced Bangladesh to exceed the time limit to bowl their 20 overs. Every over bowled after the stipulated time comes with a penalty: Instead of the five fielders allowed outside the circle, the bowling side can only place four. The handicap was slapped for the final over. Would an additional boundary rider prevent the second-ball four off Hasan’s bowling? Who knows! Irrespective, the flaws in the Bangladesh camp are plain to see. Much improvement is required ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.