Sri Lanka dominate on day 1
25 Jun 2007
By: Alex Crampton
Sri Lanka had it all their own way on day one, bowling Bangladesh out for 89, and scoring 227-3.
After losing the toss and being put into bat, it was a baptism of fire for Mohammad Ashraful as a Test captain. He was strolling out to the middle as early as the 11th over, with the score 32-3. In overcast conditions, Lasith Malinga and Chaminda Vaas dismissed the opening pair between them, both caught behind. Malinga attacked, yorkers and bouncers were commonplace, while Vaas mixed up inswingers with ones that held their line. Dilhara Fernando soon sent ex-captain Habibul Bashar packing, bringing his replacement to the crease.
Fernando was to dismiss Ashraful as well, pulling straight to the man in the deep put there for exactly that. It was Muttiah Muralitharan who would do the most damage though. The perilous situation his opponents were quickly finding themselves in allowed him to bowl with three men in close, putting plenty of pressure on the inexperienced Bangladeshis. His first victim was Rajin Saleh, who took over an hour to score 3 before he was trapped lbw. With his next over, he added Shakib Al Hasan, top scorer with just 16.
The tail proved little obstacle for Murali, he completely bamboozled them, and they were unable to save the batsmen's blushes. The final wicket fell in the 33rd over, with the score on 89, and Muralitharan finished with figures of 5-15.
Hoping to fare better with ball than with bat, Shahadat Hossain made an early breakthrough. Debutant opener Malinda Warnapura was struck right in front for a golden duck. Shahadat enjoyed pitching it short; he was getting response from the pitch, and managed to pick up another early scalp. His victim was Kumar Sangakkara, edging behind a pull.
A new Sri Lankan batsman would not be needed for the next 35 overs however, and that only came as a result of Mahela Jayawardene retiring hurt. The captain scored 93 before succumbing to cramp, an aggressive innings spurred on by some verbals and bouncers from Hossain. He rode his luck a little early on, but soon he was happily on the attack, particularly to the left arm spinners.
After he left the field, Chamara Silva fell to Abdur Razzak, edging to Mortaza at slip. No more wickets were to fall before the close, as Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a rapid 27. Constant for the Sri Lankans was Michael Vandort, who composed an unbeaten 87 from the top of the order. He looked a solid, technically sound player, and put the bowling away effectively when given the chance.
Sri Lanka will now look to amass a huge lead over the Bangladeshis, and force an innings victory to easily end the match inside three days. If their opposition do not get any better, it's hard to see any other outcome.
Bangladesh 89 all out
Shakib Al Hasan 16
Muttiah Muralitharan 5-15, Dilhara Fernando 3-33
Sri Lanka 227-3
Mahela Jayawardene 93* (retired hurt), Michael Vandort 87*
Shahadat Hossain 2-53Discuss this news item in the Cricket Web Forums