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February 18, 2006
Bangladesh 278 for 8 (Sakib Al Hasan 67, Mehrab Hossain 66*) beat Sri Lanka 180 (Cooray 58) by 98 runs
Hosts Sri Lanka signed off from the World Cup with a limp defeat to Bangladesh in the Super League play-off final on Saturday.
Bangladesh reached 278 for 8, their highest total of the tournament, after being put into bat and then dismissed their opponents for 180 in 44.5 overs. It meant Bangladesh finished as the fifth-ranked side of the 16 teams on show, their best-ever result in this competition.
Bangladesh's innings was one of fits and starts. They adopted an aggressive approach right from the start but lost early wickets because of it and slipped to 66 for 3 as Shalika Karunanayake (4 for 63) and Thisara Perera (1 for 50) did the early damage.
But that brought together Sakib Al Hasan, who made 67, and Md.Shamsur Rahman (35) and they launched the first of the recoveries for Bangladesh. The duo added 85 for the fourth wicket in quick time with Sakib playing very aggressively, scoring his runs from just 43 balls with eight fours while Shamsur's 35 came from just 39 balls with four fours.
The pair carried Bangladesh along at more than six runs an over and a total well in excess of 300 looked possible until Shamsur was run out. That was the cue for Sri Lanka to fight their way back into the game.
With Rajeewa Weerasinghe bowling impressively, the visitors slipped again until Mehrab Hossain, who made 66 not out, and Md Sohrawardi, who struck 42, joined forces for another aggressive partnership.
The pair added 80 for the seventh wicket with Mehrab hitting five fours and a six from 81 balls while Sohrawardi scored his runs from just 40 deliveries, hitting three fours and a six. It was entertaining batting.
Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and only Dilhan Cooray, one of their most consistent performers with the bat in this tournament, passed 30. Cooray made 58 from 81 balls with six fours and a six but without support it was a hopeless task for him to try and lead the run chase.
Bangladesh coach Allister de Winter said after the match: "This was as good as we could hope for in the circumstances and it was pleasing the way the boys bounced back after the disappointment of the loss to England."
Sri Lanka coach Sumithra Waranakulasuriya was not quite as upbeat in his assessment of his players when he said: "It is very disappointed the way we lost, that we could not perform to the level expected."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.