Bangladesh-Sri Lanka: Close Encounter at Tri-Nation

Ali MashrafCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2009

Last Friday (16-1-09), the final of the Tri-Nation tournament took place between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Both teams won only one group game with bonus points and came to the final. Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe and Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka after being steamrollered by Zimbabwe in a do-or-die match.

Bangladesh picked up a great win and a bonus point against Sri Lanka to take a place in the final. The final took place in the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla Stadium of Dhaka.

After sending Bangladesh to bat, Sri Lanka picked up Junaed, Mushfiqur, Ashraful,Tamim and Shakib in 54 runs. After a 44-run partnership with Rakibul, Mahmudullah was bowled out by Muralitharan. Then, after a 53-run partnership with Rakibul, Naeem was caught by Mubarak in the team's 151 run.

Mendis and Murali of Sri Lanka picked up the last three wickets of Bangladesh in 152 runs. Rakibul scored highest run for Bangladesh and was not out in his 48 runs. Kulasekara took three wickets of Bangladesh giving only 19 runs in his eight overs.

Getting 153 as target to win the tournament, Sri Lanka started batting and got a huge shock to see five of their wickets falling in only six runs. Nazmul, Mashrafee and Shakib picked up Jayasuria, Tharanga,Jayawardene,Kapugedera and Tushara of Sri Lanka.

After a 46 run partnership of Mubarak and Sangakkara, Mubarak was run out by the Bangladesh skipper, Ashraful. Sangakkara was caught by Shakib after scoring 59 runs in the team's 114 runs. In the scoreboard, it was written, Srialnka 114/7.

And after four runs, Shakib picked up Kulasekara, and making the Bangalee fans go wild after showing the hope of their first tournament win.

But in the 46th over, Ashraful gave the ball to Rubel and he gave 20 runs, making the match easy for the Sri Lankans. In the 47th over, Shakib gave only two runs, making the chances 50-50. 

But to the astonishment of all the Bangalee fans, Rubel was given the ball by Ashraful in the 48th over where he gave 12 runs. All these 32 runs in two overs of Rubel came from the bat of Murali.

The scoreboard said, "Scores are level. Sri Lanka needs one run from 12 balls." And they picked up the victory in the first ball of the next over. The scoreboard said,"Sri Lanka win by two wickets."

The whole Bangalee fans were thunderstruck. After such high hopes and preparations of celebrations, this was the reality! We, the people of Bangladesh call the players of our national team as "TIGERS".

But that day, everyone blamed Ashraful for the loss because after the 45th over, we were damn sure that we were going to win the game but only for the foolishness of Ashraful, we saw our dreams ending up in smokes.

Still, all of us were very proud with our team as they fought bravely after scoring only 153 runs. We also were very proud after seeing Shakib win the Man of the Tournament prize.

We hope and pray that Bangladesh will do some good results in future matches after this game and learn from their mistakes.