Mushfiqur leads Bangladesh to record chase in T20 tri-series


Colombo (AFP)

Mushfiqur Rahim hit a blazing half-century to help Bangladesh chase down a record 215 and beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in a thrilling Twenty20 international of the tri-series in Colombo on Saturday.

Rahim smashed an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls as the visitors achieved their target with two balls to spare at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Rahim, who hit 5 fours and 4 sixes, broke into a dance after giving Bangladesh their highest-ever run chase in the shortest format, and the fourth biggest overall in international T20s.

The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman built crucial partnerships after openers Tamim Iqbal, who hit 47, and Liton Das, who made 43 off 19 balls, set up the chase with a brisk start.

"To be honest, from the beginning we thought we could win. Tamim and Liton gave us a good start. Then Mushy was outstanding," Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said after the win.

"It was amazing to see and good inspiration for us."

Paceman Nuwan Pradeep struck two crucial blows including Liton's wicket but Sri Lankan bowlers failed to stop the flow of runs from Mushfiqur, who was named man of the match.

Earlier Sri Lanka opener Kusal Mendis, who made 57, and Kusal Perera, who top-scored with 74, put together 85 runs for the second wicket to guide the hosts to 214-6, after being put into bat first.

Mahmudullah got Mendis out with his off-spin as he struck twice in his very first over to check Sri Lanka's surge.

But Perera continued to pulverise the Bangladesh attack to hit his second successive fifty. He smashed 8 fours and 2 sixes during his 48-ball blitz.

Upul Tharanga also played a useful cameo during his unbeaten 15-ball 32. Bangladesh paceman Mustafizur Rahman claimed three wickets.

"It was a really good game of cricket and credit to the batsmen," Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal said.

"It was a really good wicket but as a bowling unit we did not execute well. I am sure they will come back in the next game."

The tournament, timed to commemorate the host island's 70 years of independence, stays alive with all three teams having won a game each. India take on Sri Lanka next on Monday.