Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Bogra, 3rd day March 10, 2006

Sri Lanka close in on victory

Close Sri Lanka 316 and 77 for 0 (Tharanga 48*) need a further 43 runs to beat Bangladesh 234 and 201 (Bashar 73, Rafique 64)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Muttiah Muralitharan celebrates his 600th Test wicket © AFP
Muttiah Muralitharan became the second bowler in history to claim 600 Test wickets during the third afternoon of the Bogra Test as Sri Lanka seized control and paved the way for a certain 2-0 series win. Set a modest 120-run target after a disciplined allround display in the field, Sri Lanka finished on 77 without loss when, bizarrely, the umpires left the field for bad (but not dangerous) light with seven overs still to be bowled.

When Sri Lanka return on Saturday morning, Upul Tharanga (48 not out) will aim to follow his marathon first innings century with another half-century, having unleashed a string of beautifully timed offside strokes in the final session. For the third successive night, he walked off the field unbeaten. His partner, Michael Vandort, was more crabish and uncertain on 22 not out when the umpires called it quits.

As was the case in the Chittagong Test, Bangladesh wilted in the second innings having conceded an 82-run lead - not mountainous but useful on a pitch offering the kind of pace, bounce and turn that makes Muralitharan almost impossible to hold at bay. When the day started, he appeared destined to join Shane Warne's 600 club and the only surprise was that he claimed only two more scalps to his five in the first innings, finishing with 7 for 141 in the series.

His latest milestone came after lunch as Khaled Mashud (6) top-edged a sweep to Lasith Malinga at deep square leg. Muralitharan watched the ball like a hawk and then broke out into the widest of smiles as his team-mates - well-versed when it comes to the celebration of Muralitharan milestones - engulfed him. Muralitharan appeared delighted but not psyched. His jubilation at ending the Bangladesh innings, allowing him to put his feet up, was perhaps even more pronounced.

Muralitharan's bowling efforts (2 for 62) were overshadowed by the bowling of the new ball pairing, Malinga and Dilhara Fernando, both of whom finished with identical figures (3 for 51). Malinga Bandara, as he has throughout the tour, provided a steady supporting hand with two important wickets after lunch to break through the middle order and into the tail.

Lasith Malinga successfully appeals against Nafees Iqbal on the third day at Bogra © AFP
The only substantial Bangladeshi resistance was provided by Habibul Bashar, who led from the front, following his first innings 69 with another skilful and positive 73. Mohammad Rafique, a loyal servant for Bangladesh cricket with his complete commitment and allround skills, raised the spirits of the crowd with a swashbuckling 64 from 78 balls - a hard-hitting display that included three sixes and heavy punishment for Muralitharan.

Unfortunately, for Bangladesh, Bashar and Rafique's budding partnership of 52 was cut short by a poor lbw decision - not quite as bad as Sangakkara's the previous morning but still sliding down the legside. The pair, after the fall of the prodigiously talented Mohammad Ashraful, were Bangladesh's last realistic chance of setting a competitive target. Despite some late Rafique fireworks, they duly ended well-short of what was needed.

Earlier, Bangladesh needed to dismiss Sri Lanka early in the morning and they did just that as Malinga fended off a nasty Shahadat Hossain bouncer to short leg. The breakthrough ended what had been a frustrating 42-run ninth- wicket stand for Bangladesh. It also enabled Shahadat to end with a five-wicket haul, the first by a Bangladesh fast bowler in Tests. Tharanga's long vigil came to an end shortly after as he glanced down the legside and was acrobatically caught one-handed by a diving Khaled Mashud. Tharanga finished with 165 from 304 balls having hit 19 fours and two sixes.

Back in the field, Jayawardene used Fernando instead of Farveez Maharoof with the new ball, adding extra teeth to the attack and putting the Bangladesh openers under early pressure. But it was Malinga, swinging the ball away, that struck first as Nafees Iqbal gloved a lifting delivery. Javed Omar was also surprised by the extra bounce and was caught down the legside.

Muralitharan needed only two warm-up overs to take wicket- number 599 as Shahriar Nafees, for the second time in the match, threw his wicket away with a wild legside hoick, a dreadful shot that would have left his coach, Dav Whatmore, fuming back in the dressing room.

After lunch, Ashraful edged low to slip where Jayawardene took a sharp reflex catch - the 100th of his career. Two balls later, Sangakarra clung onto a thick edge after a juggling act to dismiss Mushfiqur Rahim for a duck. Muralitharan was then drafted back into the fold, quickly taking his 600th scalp. After that, it was just a matter of time before Sri Lanka polished off the lower order.

How they were out

Sri Lanka

Lasith Malinga c Iqbal b Hossain 12 (305 for 9)
Fended a nasty bouncer to short leg

Upul Tharanga c Mashud c Hossain 165 (316 for 10)
Stunning one-handed legside catch off glance


Nafees Iqbal c Sangakkara b Malinga 2 (15 for 1)
Gloved a lifter

Javed Omar c Sangakkara b Fernando 13 (29 for 2)
Strangled down legside

Shariar Nafees c Maharoof b Muralitharan 6 (46 for 3)
Top edged slog sweep, caught at mid-on

Mohammad Ashraful c Jayawardene b Banadara 13 (95 for 4)
Edges leg break, fine diving catch

Mushfiqur Rahim c Sangakkara b Bandara 0 (95 for 5)
Edges wide leg spinner, juggling catch

Khaled Mashud c Malinga b Muralitharan 6 (110 for 6)
Top edged sweep to backward square

Habibul Bashar lbw Malinga 73 (162 for 7)
Adjudged lbw but ball sliding down leg

Shahadat Hossain b Fernando 8 (187 for 8)
Missed slower ball

Enamul Haq c Sangakkara b Fernando 3(198 for 9)
Outside edge off flaying drive

Mohammad Rafique c Muralitharan b Malinga 64 (201 for 10)
Skied lofted swipe

Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondent.