In yet another thrilling chapter of subcontinental cricket’s most captivating rivalry, Bangladesh emerged as the deserving victors against Sri Lanka. They clinched a three-wicket win with a crucial lead of 53 deliveries in the ICC Champions Trophy held in Delhi.
This victory propelled Bangladesh ahead of Sri Lanka in the points table, thanks to their superior net run-rate. Currently, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Sri Lanka all sit at four points, while England joins the race for the two remaining spots at the 2025 Champions Trophy.
However, amidst this exciting encounter, one remarkable incident overshadowed the rest. The ongoing controversy linked to the “Naagin Derby” took an unprecedented turn as Angelo Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be dismissed as “timed out.”
The controversy occurred during the middle of Sri Lanka’s innings when Mathews encountered issues with his helmet strap. This delay caused the new batsman to take more than two minutes to get ready, and as a result, Shakib Al Hasan appealed, leading to Mathews being declared out.
According to the tournament’s playing conditions, if the incoming batsman is not ready to face the next ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement, they can be declared “Timed out.” An infuriated Mathews was sent back, and Sri Lanka played the remainder of the game with a sense of injustice. Nevertheless, it’s essential to acknowledge the overall performance of Bangladesh and Shakib, who had a significant impact on the match.
Choosing to field first on a batting-friendly pitch, Bangladesh restricted Sri Lanka to a below-par total of 279. Despite the young Tanzim Hasan conceding 80 runs in his ten overs, primarily due to Charith Asalanka’s aggressive batting, he managed to pick up three crucial wickets, including Pathum Nissanka and Asalanka himself. The rest of the bowlers played their part, preventing Sri Lanka from gaining momentum, and some loose batting from the opposition further helped their cause.
A remarkable 169-run partnership for the third wicket between Shakib and Najmul Hossain Shanto anchored Bangladesh’s chase, capitalizing on Sri Lanka’s struggles with the evening dew. While the Sri Lankan bowlers grappled with their control, and some dropped catches added to their woes, the partnership firmly put Bangladesh in control.
Once the partnership was broken, Bangladesh required just 70 runs to win. However, Sri Lanka fought back by taking wickets and making it a tense finish. Nevertheless, Bangladesh’s deep batting lineup and their composure under pressure ensured a hard-fought victory.