Mushfiqur Rahim blasted an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls to guide Bangladesh to a sensational five-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the Nidahas Trophy on Saturday.
Rahim looked like a man possessed as he came in and blasted the Sri Lankab bowlers all over the ground and smashed the second fastest fifty by a Bangladeshi batsman in T20s (50 off 24 deliveries).
Courtesy Rahim’s brilliant batting, Bangladesh completed the fourth highest successful run chase in T20I history and the best by an Asian side.
As Rahim took Bangladesh to a memorable victory, he celebrated it in an even more unforgettable manner.
Rahim hit the winning runs and then began jumping and screaming, celebrated with his fist-pumped and then eventually broke down in a ‘naagin’ dance’.
In what can be termed as a bizarre yet hilarious celebration, Rahim swayed his hands above his head and moved his body like the famous naagin dance.
It was clear what the victory meant to him and his team, as this made the Nidahas Trophy interesting. All the three teams — India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — have now won a match each.
Chasing a massive target of 215, Bangladesh made a flying start before a mid-innings slump that left their fans worried.
However, Rahim took the onus on himself and struck like it was a final and helped Bangladesh make their highest successful run chase with two balls to spare.
Seeking to bounce back from Thursday’s loss to India, Rahim elected to field but Sri Lanka amassed 214 for six wickets at the R Premadasa Stadium.
Danushka Gunathilaka fell for 26 but a brisk 85-run partnership between opener Kusal Mendis (57) and next man in Kusal Perera laid the foundation for a 200-plus total.
Mendis smacked five sixes in his 30-ball blitz and Perera top-scored for the hosts with 74 off 48 balls.
Upul Tharanga provided the late assault, smashing 32 not out in 15 balls to help the hosts post the highest score in a Twenty20 International at the venue before Bangladesh bettered that mark.
A strong start was crucial to Bangladesh’s hopes and they got precisely that from Tamim Iqbal (47) and Liton Das (43) who added 74 runs for the opening partnership inside six overs.
Nuwan Pradeep trapped Das lbw to earn a breakthrough for Sri Lanka but Mushfiqur, who hit four sixes and five fours, batted with purpose to force an outcome which meant all three teams in the tournament have one win each.
Sri Lanka take on India at the same ground on Monday.