Bangladesh show nerves of steel to defeat Sri Lanka for first time in World Cup

A man in Sri Lanka Angelo Mathews became the first player to get a “time out” in the 146-year history of international cricket on Monday in a feisty round on the stage of the 2023 ICC World Cup series won by Bangladesh.

Chasing 280 for victory, Bangladesh rode on a 169-run stand between Najmul Hasan Shanto (90) and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (82) to reach their target with three wickets and 53 balls to spare.

The result sealed Sri Lanka’s exit from the semi-final race but Mathews’ dismissal overshadowed the result when he was adjudged a “time-out” for taking two minutes beyond regulation to strike when he reached the crease to bat.

The dismissal added to a tense atmosphere. Sri Lanka’s Shanto and Sadeera Samarawickrama were involved in a verbal exchange and had to be separated by the umpires. Later, Sri Lankan players surrounded the umpires demanding a change of ball as the game got away from them. Mathews came into bat after the fall of Samarawickrama in the 25th over but was unable to secure his helmet strap tightly enough, delaying the resumption of play.

As a result, Shakib appealed for the wicket. The referees on the pitch Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth spoke to both teams before upholding the decision. The 36-year-old Mathews took the stage reluctantly and most of the audience seemed to be excited by the decision. Shakib was later voted man of the match. “Mathews’ dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket,” said Sri Lanka’s century-maker Charith Asalanka.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn said: “Well, that wasn’t great”. Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir described the incident as “absolutely unfortunate”.

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According to the laws of cricket, after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batsman, the incoming player must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes. The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians said there are “periodic” situations in first-class cricket. “No cases recorded in List A or Twenty20 cricket until Mathews,” they wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The highly experienced Mathews was playing in his 225th one-day international on Monday in a career that has seen 5,900 runs and 122 wickets. He played 106 Tests and 78 Twenty20 internationals. When Bangladesh batted, Mathews faced Shakib with the ball and found the left arm to play a loose shot in the air only for Asalanka, who hit 108 in Sri Lanka’s 279 all out, to drop the catch.

Shakib and Shanto engaged the bowlers in a 169-run third wicket partnership before Mathews broke through with his medium pace and sent Shakib back. He pointed to his wrist as a promotion. Mathews also lost Shanto to collapse as Bangladesh lost three more wickets before reaching their target.

Earlier the left-handed Asalanka hit his second ODI ton to rebuild Sri Lanka’s innings after they slipped to 135-5 following Mathews’ departure. The match was given the green light despite smog-choked New Delhi being ranked as the most polluted major city on the planet.

(With agency input)

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