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Who is Jaker Ali? Bangladesh’s surprise package almost upsets Sri Lanka in 200-plus run chase

Jaker Ali played a stellar knock for Bangladesh in the 1st T20I against Sri Lanka. Here’s all you need to know about Bangladesh’s surprise package.

Sadeera Samarawickrama’s breathtaking knock of 61 and an unbeaten 44 from captain Charith Asalanka powered Sri Lanka to a gigantic total of 206-3 in the 1st T20I of the bilateral series against Bangladesh on Monday. Kickstarting the series opener by dominating the Bangladesh bowlers, opener Kusal Mendis laid the foundation of a massive total with his half-century. Asked to chase down the daunting total, Bangladesh were left with a mountain to climb when the hosts lost skipper Litton Das for a three-ball duck.

Jaker Ali played a quick-fire knock of 68 off 34 balls against Sri Lanka(Bangladesh Cricket Board)

In the build-up to the three-match series against the former world champions, hosts Bangladesh recalled Jaker Ali Anik to its squad. Jaker replaced Aliss Al Islam after the uncapped spinner suffered an injury. Aliss’ finger injury paved the way for Jaker to not only return to the white-ball squad but the wicketkeeper-batter also made it the starting XI for the Sri Lanka series opener at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

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Bangladesh’s surprise package almost upsets Sri Lanka

From Soumya Sarkar (12) to skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto (20), several premier batters failed to fire for Bangladesh as the hosts were reduced to 68-4 in 8.5 overs. Staging an epic comeback for the Bangla Tigers, middle-order batter Jaker teamed up with veteran Mahmudullah as the duo kept the hosts alive in the high-scoring chase at Sylhet. While Mahmudullah scored 54 off 31 balls, young Jaker top-scored for Bangladesh with his first-ever half-century.

All you need to know about Jaker Ali

Playing his fourth T20I for the hosts, the 26-year-old played a stroke-filled knock of 68 off 34 balls. Born on February 22 in 1998, Jaker can also play the role of a wicketkeeper for Asian giant killers in the limited-overs format. The former Bangladesh U-19 star has played for Dhaka Platoon, Minister Rajshahi, Gazi Group Cricketers, Khulna Tigers, Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club and Sylhet Division in the domestic arena. Jaker made his international debut against Malaysia at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in 2023. Jaker scored 199 runs with a highest of 40* in the Bangladesh Premier League.

What happened in 1st T20I?

Jaker’s quick-fire knock put Bangladesh on the verge of a famous win over Sri Lanka. However, his heroics went in vain as the Bangladesh batter was dismissed by Dasun Shanaka in the final over. Sri Lanka recorded a thrilling 3-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Reflecting on Bangaldesh’s performance after the match, skipper Shanto lauded Jaker for his fighting knock. “We started well with the ball but did not execute our plans later. Riyad’s innings was amazing along with Jaker’s, hope they contribute in the next match as well,” Shanto said.


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