June 24, 2024, 12:19 pm

Bangladesh upsets Sri Lanka in T20 World Cup opener, rekindles hope

  • Update Time : Monday, June 10, 2024
  • 12 Time View
Photo: Collected

SPORTS DESK:

They had struggled everywhere—from home to abroad. They had consistently failed to display their character against all sorts of opponents, both experienced and inexperienced. A win, they said, was the only thing that could change their fortunes in T20Is.

Before entering their first match of the T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka, few would have bet on Bangladesh, given their recent setbacks, including a T20 series defeat against the USA.

Consistent poor performances led to rumours in Dallas, the site of the match against Sri Lanka, that ticket prices for Bangladesh’s match had dropped in the informal market instead of the city being home to a large number of Bangladeshi population.

But in their first match of the 2024 T20 World Cup in Dallas, they defeated their familiar foe Sri Lanka, who had held the upper hand in their recent encounters, having won their last series against Bangladesh.

Will this win change Bangladesh’s course in the T20 World Cup? There is really no way of telling, and therein lies the perennial magic of sport. And cricket among them, is particularly noted for its ‘glorious uncertainties’.

However, the victory could play a significant role in rekindling the confidence of key players like Litton Das, Towhid Hridoy, Taskin Ahmed, Rishad Hossain, and Mahmudullah Riyad.

Among them, Litton has been enduring a prolonged slump, failing to score a single fifty in his last 10 innings. But in this match in Dallas, he remained composed while chasing a below-par total of 125 runs, avoiding unnecessary risks and getting some crucial runs under his belt.

The win could also ignite the confidence of Towhid Hridoy, who has already impressed cricket pundits with his ability to hit cleanly and stay composed under pressure, as he did in the match against Sri Lanka.

Could one win change the course of Bangladesh’s T20 World Cup campaign?

He smashed three consecutive sixes off Wanindu Hasaranga, the Sri Lankan captain, in the 12th over when Bangladesh was struggling after losing quick wickets. These sixes, achieved through two slog sweeps and one inside-out shot, significantly reduced Bangladesh’s required run rate, easing the pressure on the other batters.

Both Litton and Towhid are considered game-changers for the Bangladesh team, capable of shifting the momentum against any opponent.

“If you win this sort of match, it can boost confidence,” Bangladesh captain Najmul Shanto said after the match. “If we can carry this into the next match, it can help us a lot.”

Along with Litton and Towhid, Rishad Hossain also impressed with his bowling, taking three wickets. But the number of wickets alone doesn’t fully capture his influence on the game.

Rishad is now the only designated leg-spinner to have played a World Cup match for Bangladesh, and he showcased the kind of performance a leg-spinner dreams of in such a match.

He first dismissed Charith Asalanka with a catch by Shakib Al Hasan at deep midwicket. A failed slog sweep led to Asalanka’s dismissal. However, his most memorable wicket was that of Hasaranga, with a delivery tossed up at the leg stump that spun sharply after pitching, taking the edge of Hasaranga’s bat and ending up in the hands of the slip fielder. Dhananjaya de Silva’s wicket was another masterful display of leg-spin by Rishad. It was a delivery outside off, tempting the batter to come forward and play a shot, resulting in a stumping.

“He bowled exceptionally well,” Shanto said after the match, praising Rishad. “We often struggle as we don’t have a leg-spinner, but that gap is filled now. We hope for the same from him in the upcoming matches.” After a considerable time, Shanto finally had a good reason to praise his teammates.

Despite the win, Bangladesh may not have celebrated wholeheartedly, as they lost eight wickets chasing a below-par total of 125 runs. But Shanto feels there’s no cause for concern.

“We don’t expect all batters to do well every day,” the Bangladesh captain said. “We want the batter who gets settled in the middle to finish the match. Litton provided a good start after a long time.”

 

 

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