Tail-ender Asitha Fernando, who led Sri Lanka to a thrilling two-wicket victory over archrival Bangladesh on Thursday in Dubai, displayed exceptional composure under pressure to hit two match-defining boundaries. This victory propelled Sri Lanka to the Super Fours of the Asia Cup.
With an anticlimax saved for the last over when off-spinner Mahedi Hasan overstepped while bowling the third delivery, Sri Lanka won the game by chasing down a score of 184.
The triumph wouldn’t have been conceivable without Fernando’s excellent temperament, even though Kusal Mendis (60 off 37 balls) and captain Dasun Shanaka (45 off 33 balls) helped to set it up.
To reduce the equation to eight runs in one over, debutant Fernando first smashed the final ball of the 19th over by Ebadot Hossain (3/51 in 4 overs) for a boundary.
Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh, was forced to bowl to the inexperienced Mahedi after using up all of Mustafizur Rahaman’s allotted overs. Fernando slog swept his second delivery to decide the outcome of the match, which could have gone any way for Ebadot.
The Sri Lankan cricket team added insult to injury by performing the “Nagin Dance,” which was invented by the Bangladeshi cricket team and has been used ever since.
The nimble speedster Ebadot, a member of the Bangladesh Air Force, had a strong opening two-over session in which he delivered three short balls that struck out three Lankan batters.
Bhanuka Rakapaksa, the fourth Sri Lankan hitter, was struck out by his pace bowling partner Taskin Ahmed using the bumper as well.
Khaled Mahmud Sujon, manager of the “Tigers,” took offence to Sri Lankan skipper Shanaka’s claim that Bangladesh only possessed two world-class bowlers in opposing leader Shakib Al Hasan and cutter-master Mustafizur Rahaman.
Prior to Shanaka going out to demonstrate his prophecy, Ebadot and Taskin, who had more speed and bounce, set out to disprove the Lankans.