On This Day, 22 Feb 2006: Bangladesh made history in sweet sixteen

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It could have been a one sided affair. The previous 15 meetings between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were won quite comprehensively by the latter. Bangladesh finally broke the deadlock in their 16th attempt 12 years ago on this day. Tigers defeated Sri Lanka for the first time in one day internationals on 22 February, 2006.

It was an overcast day at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium at Bogra. After winning the toss Habibul Bashar had little hesitation to bowl first. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Syed Rasel gave a dream start. After 11 overs, Sri Lanka had just 19 runs in their disposal losing the wicket of Zihan Mubarak. Flamboyant Sanath Jayasuriya also uncharacteristically showed patience and took some time to break his shackles. Bangladesh bowlers gave Sri Lankan batsmen hardly any chance to free their arms. One time it seemed improbable for Sri Lanka to cross the 200 mark. Jayasuriya played a few strokes but eventually dismissed on just short of another century. Sri Lanka took some quick runs in the end and scored a modest total of 212. Mashrafe and Rasel did an excellent job. Both of them took 2 maidens each. Rasel took 2 wickets and Mohammad Rafique and Alok Kapali also played their part by taking 2 wickets each.

Bangladesh enjoyed a brisk start. Javed Omar and Shahriar Nafees scored 38 runs of 8 overs. Nafees departed for 17 runs, and Rajin Saleh also got back to the pavilion scoring 6 runs. Then Mohammad Ashraful took the control of the match with Javed. They added 46 runs in the third wicket before Javed departed for 40. Habibul Bashar then joined Ashraful in the crease. Their crucial 63 runs in the 4th wicket paved the way for Bangladesh. The victory was seemed to be a matter of time at the moment.

But Bangladesh suffered a double blow losing both Ashraful and Habibul in consecutive overs. Plenty of task was still left, Bangladesh still needed 59 runs from 11 overs. But Aftab Ahmed came to the rescue. He added 51 runs with Alok Kapali in the 6th wicket. Kapali was out for 18 but Aftab guided the team to the victory in emphatic fashion. He scored 32 runs from just 21 balls and consequently judged man of the match.