Completing a day of upsets, Bangladesh stormed into the final of the Asian Games Men's Cricket Tournament by overcoming Sri Lanka by 5 wickets in the second semi-final of the event held at the Guanggong International Cricket Stadium in Guangzhou, China.
Batting first, Sri Lanka didn't get off to the best of starts, losing their first wicket for 17. But the other opener Jeevantha Kulatunga pressed on to score a quickfire 25 before he was out lbw to Shahdat Hossain with the score at 38/2. The middle order struggled to contend with the pressure meted out to them by a hostile Bangladeshi bowling attack. Only Kushal Perera with 14 and later, Chinthaka Jayasinghe were able to get into double figures as Sri Lanka plodded to 101 all out in their 20 overs. Suhrawadi Shuvo was the pick of the bowlers, getting 4 wickets for just 6 runs in his 4 overs while Shahadat Hossain pitched in with 3 for 29.
In their reply, Bangladesh got off to a shaky start when opener Mithun Ali was bowled by Nuwan Zoysa for just 1, making the score a despairing 8/1. But the rest of the top order steadied the innings with useful contributions from Nazimuddin (16) and Mohammad Ashraful (18), before the middle order came to the fore. Faisal Hossain top-scored with a breezy 33 and was ably supported by Naeem Islam who notched up 25. After a couple of hiccups along the way, including one run out (of Islam), Bangladesh romped home, reaching their target of 102 in just the 16th over. With 5 wickets and 28 balls to spare, it was indeed an emphatic victory for the Bangladeshis who now go on to face Afghanistan in the tournament final.