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3rd T20I, Sylhet, March 09, 2024, Sri Lanka tour of Bangladesh
(19.4/20 ov, T:175) 146

Sri Lanka won by 28 runs


Thushara claims hat-trick on way to five-for to finish Bangladesh off in decider

Despite the big defeat, Rishad Hossain's performance with ball and bat would have made Bangladesh happy

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Nuwan Thushara took four wickets in two overs, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Sylhet, March 9, 2024

Nuwan Thushara picked up a hat-trick in his first over on the way to a five-wicket haul  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka 174 for 7 (Kusal Mendis 86, Taskin 2-25, Rishad 2-35) beat Bangladesh 146 (Rishad 53, Taskin 31, Thushara 5-20, Hasaranga 2-32) by 28 runs
Nuwan Thushara's five-wicket burst, including a hat-trick, after Kusal Mendis struck a 55-ball 86 handed Sri Lanka a 2-1 series win against Bangladesh in Sylhet on Saturday.
Thushara blew away the Bangladesh top order with a hat-trick in his first over - the fourth of the innings. He became the sixth Sri Lankan to achieve the feat. Rishad Hossain and Taskin Ahmed, also Bangladesh's best bowlers on the day, provided some respite with the bat, but Sri Lanka had done enough damage in that initial phase to get to a comfortable win.
Rishad struck seven sixes in his 30-ball 53, the most by a Bangladesh batter and the second most by a batter batting at No. 8 or lower in the batting order. But the day belonged to Thushara.

Thushara rips through Bangladesh

Thushara, who only entered the XI because Matheesha Pathirana was ruled out with a hamstring injury, started bowling in the fourth over and immediately got the ball to swing - he got one to shape into the left-handed Najmul Hossain Shanto and rearranged his stumps.
Towhid Hridoy was up next, and Thushara got another one to swing similarly, this time the movement away from the right-hander. The ball ended up at the deep-third boundary, but only after uprooting the off stump.
As a Sri Lankan fielder retrieved the ball, the rest became involved in an altercation with Hridoy, who had to be held back by umpire Tanvir Ahmed.
The chaos gave way to the sublime when Thushara handed out that same treatment to Mahmudullah, trapping him lbw. The ball once again dipped and then swung in front of the batter. For those who witnessed the three balls, there's bound to be debate about which was the best of the three.

Kusal Mendis puts on a show

When Sri Lanka batted after losing the toss, Kusal Mendis was Bangladesh's biggest threat, and he ended up scoring almost half of Sri Lanka's 174-run total. Kusal Mendis' 86 off 55 balls, peppered with half a dozen sixes and as many fours, was also his highest score in T20Is.
This was Kusal Mendis' sixth fifty, in eight innings, against Bangladesh, the most by any batter. He struck half of his sixes down the ground, and the other half behind the wicket. It was also a similar split when it came to his fours; two scrumptious cover drives to go with four boundaries through third and fine-leg.

Rishad rouses quiet Sylhet

After Thushara's hat-trick, Bangladesh's end was near. The 18,000-plus crowd had fallen quiet already, and it became worse when Wanindu Hasaranga trapped Jaker Ali lbw to reduce Bangladesh to 32 for 6.
Out of this mire came Rishad's superb innings. He played out two overs before hitting Hasaranga for two sixes in the 11th. He then took a liking for Maheesh Theekshana, hitting him for his third six, with a sweep, and then with three slog-sweeps in the 15th over. To reach his fifty, Rishad timed a superb pull shot off Binura Fernando, before falling to Theekshana for 53 off 30 balls.
With the ball, too, Rishad had a great time. He removed Kamindu Mendis in his first over with a delivery that beat the left-hander in the flight. Rishad also removed Angelo Mathews. He also got to bowl the 18th over, a clear sign that Rishad is winning the trust of his captain.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Win Probability
SL 100%
100%50%100%SL InningsBAN Innings

Over 20 • BAN 146/10

Taskin Ahmed c de Silva b Shanaka 31 (21b 3x4 2x6) SR: 147.61
Sri Lanka won by 28 runs
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