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Sri Lanka Complete Victory
03 Mar 2006
By: George Roberts


Sri Lanka wrapped up a comfortable win over Bangladeshi in the first Test in Chittagong, as Michael Vandort's unbeaten 64 powered the tourists to an eight-wicket victory. Despite a first-innings lead of just 19, the Sri Lankan spinners, particularly Muttiah Muralitharan, tore through some rash home batting yesterday, leaving their bowlers trying to defend a meagre 163.

There was, however, one early breakthough: Upul Tharanga, who demonstrated his desire for a rapid run chase the previous evening, again looked to attack from the start today. A touch of away-swing from Syed Rasel was enough to brush the edge of the bat, and Shahriar Nafees took his third catch of the match at second slip.

Now joined by the cool arrogance of Kumar Sangakkara, Vandort, whose recall after three years in the cold was criticised by many in Sri Lanka, began to make headway into the small target, though not without alarm. Shahadat Hossain, who caused numerous problems for the Sri Lankan tailenders in the first innings, now confronted Vandort with a succession of bouncers.

Seeking an early finish, Sangakkara began to find the boundaries, lifting the spinners over the infield and into the gaps en route to 46, before a sprawling Enamul Haque jnr claimed a return catch via a leading edge. With the job almost complete at 115 for two, Vandort and captain Mahela Jayawardene (26*) saw Sri Lanka home in 37 overs.

Mohammad Ashraful won the man-of-the-match award for his sparkling opening day hundred, edging out spin genius Muttiah Muralitharan, who returned match figures of nine for 141, including his 1000th international wicket.

The second Test, the first to be held at Bogra, begins next Tuesday.

Bangladesh 1st 319 all out
Mohammad Ashraful 136
Lasith Malinga 4/57, Muttiah Muralitharan 3/87

Sri Lanka 1st 338 all out
Farveez Maharoof 72, Kumar Sangakkara 69, Thilan Samaraweera 58
Shahadat Hossain 4-83, Mohammad Rafique 2-76, Enamul Haque Jnr 2-76

Bangladesh 2nd 181 all out
Mohammad Rafique 40, Shahriar Nafees 38
Muttiah Muralitharan 6-54, Dilhara Fernando 2-10

Sri Lanka 2nd 166-2
Michael Vandort 66*, Kumar Sangakkara 46
Syed Rasel 1-18

Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets.
Cricket Web Player of the Match
Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh) - 136 and 1, 0-20 and 0-16

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