In a thrilling encounter at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Monday, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews played a pivotal role in denying Bangladesh’s star players, Shakib Al Hasan and Najmul Shanto, their centuries. The match witnessed a dramatic turn of events as Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be timed out after Shakib and Shanto appealed for his dismissal due to taking too much time at the crease.
Mathews showcased his all-round brilliance by dismissing Shakib, who had scored an impressive 82 runs off 65 balls, comprising 12 boundaries and two sixes. Later, he sent Najmul Shanto back to the pavilion after the latter had fought hard for his 90 runs off 101 balls. The dismissal of Shakib was particularly sweet revenge for Mathews, who made sure to remind the Bangladesh skipper of his own dismissal in the first innings by pointing to his watch during the send-off.
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Najmul Shanto, who had been struggling for form in recent matches, turned his fortunes around by forming a crucial 169-run partnership with Shakib Al Hasan. This partnership propelled Bangladesh from 41 for 2 to 211 for 4, significantly changing the game’s momentum.
Shanto’s impressive performance came after a series of low scores, with only 28 runs in his last six matches in the ongoing World Cup. His unbeaten 59 against Afghanistan in the tournament opener was followed by disappointing scores of 0, 7, 8, 0, 9, and 4. However, his determined innings against Sri Lanka displayed his resilience and skill on the field.
In the first innings, Sri Lanka owed their competitive total of 279 runs to Charith Asalanka’s maiden ODI World Cup century. Asalanka’s brilliant knock of 108 runs off 105 balls, featuring six boundaries and five sixes, set the stage for Sri Lanka’s challenging total.
Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis also made significant contributions with 41 runs each, ensuring Sri Lanka had a competitive total on the scoreboard. This nail-biting encounter showcased the true spirit of cricket, with both teams displaying exceptional skills and determination. Mathews’ crucial dismissals and Shanto’s fighting innings made the match a memorable spectacle for cricket fans worldwide.