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Sri Lanka dominate Bangladesh
21 Mar 2007
By: Manan Shah

Bangladesh were riding high and looking to continue their winning ways after their upset over India in the first game. Sri Lanka had played Bermuda and cruised through with a 243 run victory.

This match was crucial to both sides, and to India, with a Bangladesh victory meaning they would go to the next round and a Sri Lankan victory would mean India would have to win their next match against Sri Lanka to have a chance of progressing to the Super 8.

Bangladesh began the day on a good note - winning the toss and putting Sri Lanka into bat. Their strategy was to exploit the early moisture on the pitch and put Sri Lanka under pressure with quick early wickets. Sri Lanka had other things on their minds, as Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasurya began the innings aggressively.

The new ball that Bangladesh was hoping to exploit did not result in any wickets even though Mashrafe Mortaza managed to beat the bat consistently early on.

The Sri Lankan openers were plagued by some miscommunications, and were almost run out multiple times. Nevertheless, it was smooth sailing, as Jayasurya was batting outside his crease most of the time, while playing some fantastic late cuts and driving the ball with beautiful timing.

Bangladesh's first breakthrough came in the 15th over, as Mohammad Rafique removed Tharanga with the second ball of his spell. Unfortunately, the wicket did not result in any drop off in run rate as Sri Lanka continued to pile on the runs.

Bangladesh had some luck go their way when after a brief rain-delay and Jayasurya had to retire hurt when he hurt his hamstring. Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardane continued the good work, putting on a 66-run partnership combining quick singles and humongous boundaries.

When Jayawardane fell, four runs shy of his half century, Sri Lanka were in an excellent position of 202-2 with 15 overs still to go. Chamera Silva came in, and after a slow start, picked up his tempo and the duo scored at six an over until the 45th over, taking the score to 258-2.

Sangakarra, after being dropped several times, hit one straight to Tamim Iqbal who made no mistake. The dismissal may have been a blessing in disguise for Sri Lanka, as it meant Jayasurya came back to the crease to resume his innings.

With only five overs left to go and plenty of wickets left in the bag, the Sri Lankan batsmen opened up and started scoring off every ball. His hundred was brought up with a thundering six down the wicket, and it came in only 85 balls. He lasted one more ball - another six over long off - before an attempted sweep ended his innings with two overs still to go and the score at 300-4. Chamera Silva and Russell Arnold finished the innings with some boundaries and a six, with Silva brining up his half century in 45 balls and Sri Lanka finishing on 318-4 from their 50 overs.

The pitch had no demons but Bangladesh would have to bat out of their skins to chase down a total against Muralitharan and a good Sri Lankan bowling attack.

They were set back right from the first over as Chaminda Vaas nailed Shahriar Nafees in the first over leaving them 1-1. The other opener, Tamim Iqbal, didn't last long as he edged one off an excellent Malinga delivery.

The collapse was on when Aftab Ahmed fell in the seventh over when Malinga took his second wicket. After that, the wickets kept falling regularly, with both Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqibul Hasan going back to the pavilion. Bangladesh were 41-5, and facing a complete collapse.

Mohammad Ashraful and Habibul Bashar attempted to salvage their innings, but lasted only twenty runs before Bashar got run out due to a direct hit from Jayawardane.

After Bashar's dismissal, it was all a formality as no one stood up to partner Ashraful and Sri Lanka got wickets every couple of overs. In the end, their final score of 112 in 37 overs was a sad follow up to the emphatic and spirited performance against India a few days ago.

Sri Lanka 318-4 in 50 overs
Sanath Jayasurya 109 (87), Kumar Sangakarra 56 (55), LPC Silva 52 (48)
Mohammad Rafique 1-48 (10), Saqibul Hasan 1-49 (10)

Bangladesh 112-10 in 36 overs
Mohammad Ashraful 45 (63)
Lasith Malinga 3-27 (6), Chaminda Vaas 1-11 (7)

Sri Lanka won by 198 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match: Sanath Jayasurya 109 (87) & 0-2 (1.5)

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