Superb Sabbir leads Bangaldesh to victory


Sabbir Rahman's superb 80 helped Bangladesh to a 23-run win over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup on Sunday.

With both teams coming into the game on the back of wins over the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh produced their best batting performance of the Twenty20 tournament in Mirpur.

And it was Sabbir's excellent 54-ball innings that proved crucial in guiding the hosts to a total of 147-7, with their bowlers defending it brilliantly as Sri Lanka could only muster 124-8.

Sri Lanka, despite missing Lasith Malinga through injury, did not need long to dismiss the Bangladesh openers as Mohammad Mithun and Soumya Sarkar both went for ducks in nine balls.

Sabbir mounted something of a recovery before a communication mix-up with Mushfiqur Rahim (4) ended the latter's innings courtesy of a run out by Angelo Mathews.

However, Sabbir - whose prolific innings featured 10 fours and three sixes - found a capable partner in the middle order in Shakib Al Hasan (32).

That pair put on 82 for the fourth wicket, with Sabbir's superb innings ended by Dushmantha Chameera (3-30).

Shakib and Mahmudullah (23 not out) kept the scoreboard ticking over after Sabbir's exit and Bangladesh claimed an early scalp in defence of their total as Tillakaratne Dilshan (12) went in the fourth over to Shakib (2-21).

Dinesh Chandimal (37) and Shehan Jayasuriya's (26) partnership of 56 appeared to have Sri Lanka in command, the former going for a run a ball before Mahmudullah (1-14) got him to reverse sweep to deep point.

Jayasuriya then fell victim to a stumping and the wickets continued to tumble, with Sri Lanka's middle order failing to get going.

On 116-6, Sri Lanka required 32 runs from six balls, but instead Al-Amin Hossain (3-34) took two further wickets as Bangladesh claimed a second straight win.