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Sri Lanka recover from stumble
01 Mar 2006
By: Alex Crampton

At 178/5 today, Bangladesh's spirits were up, they looked like having a pretty good chance of embarrassing Bangladesh. But Maharoof and Samaraweera eased Sri Lanka away, and they look set to build a good lead on day 3.

Sri Lanka found themselves batting very early on, after closing Bangladesh's innings for the addition of just four runs. Sri Lanka suffered an early setback, inexperienced opener Michael Vandort was caught behind third ball, in his first test for over three years.

His equally inexperienced partner, Upal Tharanga, fared a great deal better, sharing a positive 86-run stand, cashing in on the lack of Mashrafe Mortaza. Once Tharanga had been caught at short leg, Jayawardene and Sangakkara continued in the same vein. After some sparkling strokeplay, Jayawardene miscued one to mid-on, giving Rafique his second wicket.

Rafique's spin partner, Enamul Haque Jnr, removed the even more dangerous Sangakkara in the next over, with a questionable bat-pad decision. Haque claimed Bangladesh's fifth wicket, Tillakaratne Dilshan for a brief 22.

Samaraweera, who has rescued Sri Lanka on many an occasion, and Maharoof, yet to prove himself as an allrounder, took it upon themselves to get Sri Lanka out of trouble. They did a fine job of it too, taking Sri Lanka from 178/5 to 295/6. Maharoof proved to be the dominant partner, hitting the ball with power and control. His shot selection was top-class, as was the six he hit off Ashraful

Maharoof played on late in the day for 72, his maiden half century. Samaraweera took his score to 57, and Sri Lanka just short of Bangladesh's total. Despite Sri Lanka's strong position, this match is still very much open. A lot depends on how Sri Lanka bat tomorrow, but Bangladesh know that they could still spring a surprise.

Bangladesh 319 all out
Mohammad Ashraful 136
Lasith Malinga 4/57, Muttiah Muralitharan 3/87

Sri Lanka 313/6
Farveez Maharoof 72, Kumar Sangakkara 69, Thilan Samaraweera 57*
Mohammad Rafique 2-76, Enamul Haque Jnr 2-76

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