Shakib, Mustafizur star in Mashrafe swansong

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Shakib, Mustafizur star in Mashrafe swansong
Mashrafe Mortaza celebrates win in his last T20 with his team. (PHOTO: AFP)
Shukriya Pakistan

COLOMBO: Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan shared seven wickets between them as Bangladesh gave their retiring captain Mashrafe Mortaza a perfect send-off with a 45-run win over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 international in Colombo on Thursday.

Mustafizur picked up 4-21 while Shakib added 3-24 as the visitors in Mashrafe’s final Twenty20 match dismissed Sri Lanka for 131 runs in 18 overs after scoring 176-9.

The win, which ended Bangladesh’s eight-match losing streak in this format, also helped the side secure a draw in the two-match series after they lost the opening game by six wickets on Tuesday.

“I am feeling proud to have played with these boys and the support staff. Big thanks to my cricket board and my family,” Mashrafe said in choked voice.

It spoiled Lasith Malinga’s hat-trick as the veteran fast bowler with a sling action finished with 3-34, stopping Bangladesh’s scoring spree and providing Sri Lanka a chance for their third successive series win.

Chamara Kapugedara offered some resistance with the bat for the hosts, hitting 50 off 35 balls.

Kapugedara and Thisara Perera, who made 27, put 58 runs for the sixth wicket, helping Sri Lanka recover from a precarious 40-4 but Bangladesh kept their composure to stop them from causing any significant damage.

Shakib, who took two wickets in his first two overs, returned in his second spell to remove Perera and break the stand before Mashrafe bowled Seekkuge Prasanna (11) to dent Sri Lanka’s hopes in his final game.

Mustafizur dismissed Kapugedara and Malinga in the next over to take Bangladesh close before rookie pace bowler Mohammad Saifuddin completed the team’s second ever win against Sri Lanka.

Malinga was the star of the show earlier in Bangladesh’s innings when he became only the fifth bowler in the history of Twenty20 internationals to claim a hat-trick.

In the penultimate over of the innings, Malinga bowled Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe and trapped debutant Mehedi Hasan lbw to halt Bangladesh from piling up a massive total.

His feat, the second Sri Lankan to achieve the mark after team-mate Thisara Perera, spoiled a good start by Bangladesh, who at one stage looked well set to score 200 runs after a rollicking start.

Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar added 70 runs in a record opening partnership to set the platform for a big total after skipper Mashrafe won the toss and opted to bat first.

“It is disappointing. We did not get a good start and unfortunately lost five wickets in the first six overs,” said Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga.

Imrul and Soumya surpassed Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque’s 63 runs against Nepal in an ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, which was Bangladesh’s best start until this game.

Soumya made 34 off 17 balls before he was caught and bowled by Asela Gunaratne while Imrul, who replaced injured Tamim Iqbal in the starting line-up, was run out after making 36 off 25 balls.

Shakib and Sabbir Rahman shared another 46 runs for the third wicket before Vikum Sanjaya bowled the latter for 19 runs.

Nuwan Kulasekara bowled Shakib to end his prolific 31-ball innings of 38, the highest for Bangladesh, before Malinga’s magical final over stunned the visitors.

The preceding Test and one-day international series involving the teams also ended in 1-1 draw.

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