Incheon: Sri Lanka dumped defending champions Bangladesh from the Asian Games cricket through the luck of the toss after their semi-final was rained out on Thursday.
Bangladesh, sent in to bat in overcast conditions, recovered from 6-3 to reach 59 without further loss in 11 overs when rain hit the Yeonhui cricket field to ruin the rest of the Twenty20 game.
Match referee Venkatapathu Raju, the former India spinner, took the two captains out for a toss where Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne called 'tails' correctly and knocked Bangladesh out.
Sri Lanka will meet Afghanistan in Friday's gold medal clash, while Bangladesh were left to play Hong Kong for the bronze earlier in the day - weather permitting. (Also read: Kuwait beat Maldives by coin toss)
Afghanistan, silver medallists four years ago, took advantage of fielding first after winning the toss to brush aside Hong Kong by eight wickets in the first semi-final. (Also read: Pakistan win rain-hit women's cricket final at Asiad)
Hong Kong found batting difficult under gloomy weather and managed just 88-8 in their 20 overs against steady Afghan bowling. Irfan Ahmed and Roy Lamsam top-scored with 17 each.
Nasim Baras, skipper Mohammad Nabi and Karim Sadiq grabbed two wickets each.
Rain during the innings break reduced Afghanistan's Duckworth-Lewis target to 72 off 15 overs, which they achieved easily in the 12th over after Mohammad Shahzad smashed 41 off 28 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Afghan coach Raees Ahmadzai conceded that winning the toss gave them the initial advantage.
"The toss was the key," he said. "We were expecting the rain and wanted to bat second keeping a target in mind. But we were superior to the Hong Kong side in both batting and bowling."
What was expected to be the key game of the competition between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - both India and Pakistan refused to send teams - turned into a damp squib.
Bangladesh, fielding their top side led by Mashrafe Mortaza, recovered from a disastrous start through a 53-run stand between Sabbir Rahman and Tamim Iqbal.
But a heavy downpour which did not leave time for even the Super Over tie-breaker, forced the match to be decided by the toss and saw the Sri Lankans through to the final.
"This is no way to win, but there is nothing one can do about the weather," said Thirimanne, one of the five regulars of the national team playing in the tournament.
"Hope we get a bright day tomorrow. A final deserves a full game."
Mortaza, who earlier this week was appointed Bangladesh's one-day captain in place of Mushfiqur Rahim, took the exit sportingly. "These things happen in cricket. We too wished we had a proper match.
"We will now prepare for the home series against Zimbabwe." Ahmadzai, the Afghan coach, said he expected his team to give Sri Lanka a tough fight.
"It will not be an easy game for either side," he said. "We missed the gold in Guangzhou, hope we can win it this time."