Sri Lanka in Control

Muttiah Muralitharan claimed two for none to reduce Bangladesh to 36/3 in their second innings at stumps on day two. Bangladesh still trail Sri Lanka by 146 runs, after Sri Lanka declared their first innings closed at 370/9. It was a disappointing end to the day for Bangladesh after they had fought hard to contain the Sri Lankans to a scoring rate of less than 3.5 an over.

Sri Lanka resumed day 2 on 160/3 with the not out batsman Thilan Samaraweera 33* and Mahela Jayawardene 17*. They went on to share a 100 run partnership before Jayawardene was caught at the wicket off the slow left arm bowling of Mohammad Rafique for a sedate 63. Samaraweera’s slow vigil (78 from 198 balls) came to an end when he edged a catch to the keeper from Shahadat Hossain.

The innings of an otherwise dull day was played by Tillakaratne Dilshan who struck 86 from 124 balls. The Sri Lankan Captain Atapattu held off declaring until Dilshan was dismissed, the not out batsman being Fernando. The declaration allowed his bowlers nine overs at the Bangladesh top order. The Bangladesh bowlers stuck to their task manfully through out the day, the most successful being the veteran Mohammad Rafique, who claimed 5/114.

Its hard to see Bangladesh setting the Sri Lankans much of a target with Murali and the most successful of the bowlers from the first innings Rangana Herath (slow left arm) both in ominous form. The Bangladesh hopes seem to rest with their captain Habibul Bashar who is not out 13, Bashar was unlucky to be run out in the first innings, when he was in fine touch having made 84 from just 96 balls. His partner for the start of the third day will be Tushar Imran who is facing the unenviable possibility of being dismissed for a pair in this match.

Bangladesh 188
Bashar 84
Herath 4-38, Muralitharan 3-42

Sri Lanka 370/9 dec
Dilshan 86, Samaraweera 78, Jayawardene 63
Mohammad Rafique 5-114

Bangladesh 36-3
Bashar 13*
Muralitharan 2-0, Malinga 1-22

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