ANI Photo | Sri Lanka hold nerve to clinch 3-run victory over Bangladesh in final over thriller

Sri Lanka managed to edge past Bangladesh in a final ball thriller to clinch a 3-run victory in the first T20I at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Both sides have produced some nerve-rattling games over the past few years and this humdinger will certainly go down as one of those.
Bangladesh came close while chasing a mammoth total of 207 but in the end, were too far from victory.
After losing three wickets in the powerplay, Mahmudullah took the onus of bringing Bangladesh back into the game.
Jaker Ali showed his intent struck boundaries and smashed his maiden T20I fifty. After Mahmudullah’s (54) dismissal, Jaker kept Bangladesh in the mix reducing the required rate at every possible opportunity.
With the dew factor kicking in, Sri Lanka bowlers struggled to find their lengths and Ali exploited it to its maximum potential.
With 12 runs needed in the final over, Ali backed on his strong outing but it was skipper Charith Asalanka who had the last laugh.
Shanaka dismissed Ali (68) on the third ball of the over with Asalanka completing the catch to take Sri Lanka past the finishing line leaving the crowd stunned in the process.
Earlier in the innings, after Bangladesh won the toss and opted to field, a brilliant batting display from Sri Lanka enabled them to post a herculean score of 206/3 on the board.
The visitors stumbled early Avishka Fernando (4) fell to Shoriful Islam in the first over of the match. Kamindu Mendis (19) got off to a promising start but ended up gifting his wicket away to Taskin.
Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s partnership saw them portray a perfect blend of caution and aggression on the field.
Both batters kept picking up boundaries at regular intervals, unsettling the opposition bowlers in the process.
Mendis fell moments after completing his fifty but Samarawickrama carried on the other end and raised his bat after scoring half-century.
Skipper Charith Asalanka went on a rampage striking the ball all around the park, playing a blistering unbeaten cameo of 61 off 48 deliveries to take his side past the 200-run mark.
In the final four overs, Bangladesh bowlers looked clueless about their plan of action as Sri Lanka amassed a total of 64 runs.
Brief Score: Sri Lanka 206/3 (Sadeera Samarawickrama 61*, Kusal Mendis 59, Charith Asalanka 44*; Rishad Hossain 1-32) vs Bangladesh 203/8 (Jaker Ali 68, Mahmudullah 54; Angelo Mathews 2-17). (ANI)

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