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Naim, Rahim drive Bangladesh to 171/4

Naim, Rahim drive Bangladesh to 171/4
October 24, 2021 --- Web Desk

SHARJAH (92 News) – Having come through the first round of matches at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh begin their Super 12 campaign in Sharjah.

An enterprising batting performance from Bangladesh set Sri Lanka a target of 172 in their opening Group 1 match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Mohammad Naim and Mushfiqur Rahim were leaders of the batting attack, making half-centuries in Bangladesh's 171/4.

Sri Lanka's bowlers, who have impressed so far in the tournament, faced their sternest test.

Openers hold off Sri Lankan attack

With mystery spinner MaheeshTeekshana nursing a side strain, Sri Lanka went with a four-man pace attack, bringing in Binura Fernando, the left-arm quick. However, having chosen to bowl, they weren't able to make the early breakthroughs they have become accustomed to in round one. 

Bangladesh enjoyed one of the strongest Powerplays of their tournament. This period of play has been identified as an area of concern for them, but on this occasion, the openers added 40 in 5.5 overs.

Liton Das got going in the second over with a four to fine leg off Fernando before Naim added a couple of boundaries, including a good-looking lofted four over mid-on.

Lahiru Kumara struck back in the penultimate ball of the Powerplay, when Das, who made room for himself to drive, found the fielder at mid-off.

Shakib Al Hasan began with a beautiful inside-out drive over cover, as the batters took on the spin of CharithAsalanka. However, Chamika Karunaratne soon sent the in-form all-rounder's leg-stump flying.

Mushfiqur, Naim deal in boundaries

Even as tempers ran high in the middle, Naim held up one end to bring up his second half-century of the tournament. He survived a run-out chance and reached the milestone in 44 balls, with a single-bounce four down the ground.

Meanwhile, the diminutive Rahim made up for his recent batting struggles by coming out blazing. He kept the pressure on the bowlers with a couple of slog sweeps for six, off both left-hand pace and spin.

WaninduHasaranga and Fernando came in for more punishment. Even when Fernando got the wicket of Naim, who top-edged a pull, the scoring rate wasn't affected.

Mushfiqur's half-century came off just 32 balls. It was the sixth of his career and his first in the format since November 2019.

He finished unbeaten on 57 off 37 balls, with five fours and two sixes.–ICC