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Sri Lanka on top
10 Mar 2006
By: Harry Warwick


This afternoon, Muttiah Muralitharan became only the second player to pass the milestone of 600 test wickets when Khaled Mashud top-edged a sweep, and was caught by Lasith Malinga at deep square leg. Muralitharan looked fated to join Shane Warne's 600-plus-wicket club in this test match; with a spin-tainted pitch that offered some bounce to the off-spinner, he was difficult to keep out.

Muralitharan's outstanding effort of seven wickets in the match, allied with a useful start from the Sri Lankan batsman in the evening, have effectively secured the visitors with the win. The excellent Tharanga (48*) and Vandort (22*) both put on 77 by the (premature) close of play, the time being lost of bad, but not obviously dangerous, light.

In the morning session, Lasith Malinga fended off a difficult bouncer straight to short leg for just 12, but the outstanding effort displayed by Upul Tharanga was finally ceased when the opener glanced a Hossain delivery and was caught spectacularly. The visitors had amassed 316 runs in their first innings, of which 165 were scored off of Tharanga's blade.

Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, decided to rotate the opening partners at the beginning of the Bangladeshi innings: he handed Fernando the 'new-nut' instead of Maharoof. However, with some devastating away-swing, Malinga struck by removing Nafees Iqbal with a rising delivery, and then followed up his early success with another lifting delivery to Javed Omar, who gloved the ball down the leg-side.

Habibul Bashar was, again, one of the only Bangladeshi batsmen who looked to build an innings, but Mohammad Rafique made a useful 64 off of 78 to complement the number three's defiant 73, having scored 69 in the first innings.

The half-century partnership that the two shared was controversially halted as Bashar was adjudged LBW after a Lasith Malinga delivery seemed to be sliding down the leg-side. The fall of Bashar, with the young but talented Ashraful already back in the hutch, seemed to spell the end for Bangladesh, but the home side managed to scrap another 39 runs before Rafique lofted a sweep and was safely caught- an action which ended the innings on 201.

Bangladesh 234 all out
Habibul Bashar 69
Muttiah Muralitharan 5-79, Dilhara Fernando 2-24

Sri Lanka 316
Upul Tharanaga 160*, Mahela Jayawardene 49
Shahadat Hossain 5-86, Enamul Haque jnr 2-71

Bangladesh 201
Habibul Bashar 73, Mohammad Rafique 64
Lasith Malinga 3-51, Dilhara Fernando 3-51

Sri Lanka 77-0
Upul Tharanaga 48*, Michael Vandort 22*

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