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Spinners put Sri Lanka on top
12 Sep 2005
By: Alex Crampton


On a day dominated by the finale of the Ashes, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh began their 2 test series at in Colombo.

Batting first, the Tigers wasted a strong start, after reaching 112-2 at lunch they collapsed to 188 all out. Bangladesh fielded a side featuring 2 debutants, opener Shahriar Nafees and Syed Rasel. The former of these made a shaky start to his test career, bowled for 3 by Lasith Malinga, after being shaken up by a bouncer the ball before.

The more experienced Habibul Bashar joined the other opener Javed Omar, and they took the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers, with Omar hitting 3 fours off one Chaminda Vaas over. Omar's shot selection let him down with the score on 63, driving at a wide ball from Fernando, giving a simple catch to Kumar Sangakkara.

Bashar continued in the same vein however, bringing up his 50 from 73 balls. A partnership of 92 with Mohammed Ashraful was brought to an end when Ashraful holed out to Fernando of Herath.

That was when the collapse began. Just 2 overs later Herath bowled Tushar Imran, and at the start of the next over Bashar's innings was brought to a close, a sharp direct hit from Dilshan, or though he could perhaps count himself unlucky, as the television replays showed.

On the 5th ball of that Muralitharan over Khaled Mashud was caught by Samaraweera off Muralitharan, and the next over Samaraweera took another catch, this time Aftab Ahmed for a first ball duck. Muralitharan then dismissed Rafique and Shahadat in consecutive overs, and after a brief cameo from debutant Rasel, he was stumped off Herath to end the innings.

Sri Lanka began their reply positively, before Atapattu was trapped lbw by debutant Rasel, although TV replays show there was an inside edge. Jayasuriya made 46 off 54 balls before a diving catch from Ahmed brought Shahadat a wicket. Keeper Sangakkara scored a more sedate 30 from 82, and after he was caught at mid-on Jayawardene and Samaraweera saw out the remaining overs before stumps, by which time they had reached 160-3, 28 runs behind.

Tomorrow Sri Lanka will look to build a big lead, with the hope of an innings victory, while Bangladesh will look to take some early wickets, to give themselves a chance in this match.

Bangladesh 188
Bashar 84
Herath 4-38, Muralitharan 3-42
Sri Lanka 160-3
Jayasuriya 46, Samaraweera 33*, Jayawardene 17*
Mohammad Rafique 1-35

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