Bangladesh Under-23 team will have to bounce back from a crushing defeat against their Sri Lankan counterparts to vie for the gold medal against the same opposition today in the final of the men’s cricket event of the 13th South Asian Games in Kirtipur.
In a dress rehearsal of final, Bangladesh were pummelled by Sri Lanka, losing the match by nine wickets to end their group-stage campaign of the five-team event with a defeat at the Tribhuvan
University Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Bangladesh managed to post 150-6 in 20 overs after they were asked to bat first with Yasir Ali and Mahidul Islam making 51 and 44 respectively, but unbeaten fifties from Lasith Croospulle (73) and Pathum Nissanka (67) guided Sri Lanka to 151-1 in just 16.1 overs.
Bangladesh got off to a rocky start, losing their first three wickets for just 21 runs inside five overs, before Yasir and Mahidul added 80-run off 66 balls for the fourth wicket to take their side to a modest total.
After losing Nishan Madushaka (six) in the second over Sri Lanka didn’t look back in their reply, with Nissanka and Croospulle adding 134-run off 80 balls for the second wicket to win the match with 23 balls to spare.
Bangladesh, who were playing their fourth match in space of five days, rested a number of key players in the match to keep them fresh for the all-important final.
Skipper Nazmul, who was rested for the match along with Soumya Sarkar and Hasan Mahmud, was not too disappointed with the result as he felt the match gave the lower order batters some much needed match practice.
‘Our lower-middle order batsmen couldn’t get the chance to bat so far. Today [Sunday] we gave those batters a chance to bat to build up their confidence. So I am not taking it [defeat] negatively. I think it was good for our batsmen,’ Nazmul told reporters after the match in Kirtipur.
‘We didn’t field our regular playing XI. We rested a few players. Because playing four matches in a row I think is a bit difficult. We took this decision after discussing it with the team management,’ he added.
Bangladesh, earlier, confirmed a berth in the final after beating hosts’ Nepal by 44-run at the same venue on Saturday.
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