Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Chittagong, 3rd day March 2, 2006

Murali spins his magic over Bangladesh

Sri Lanka 338 (Samaraweera 58, Hossain 4-83) and 25 for 0 require another 138 runs to beat Bangladesh 319 and 181 (Rafique 40, Muralitharan 6-54)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Muttiah Muralitharan became the first man to snare 1000 international wickets en route to a potentially match-winning spell of 6 for 54 © AFP

Muttiah Muralitharan, celebrating his 100th Test match, claimed a decisive advantage for Sri Lanka with a mesmerising second-innings spell, claiming 6 for 54 as Bangladesh were skittled for 181. Sri Lanka, forced to scrap hard for two and a half days, finished on 25 without loss needing just 138 more for victory.

As Muralitharan dismantled the Bangladesh innings, dousing an uprising that threatened major embarrassment, he also raced past 1000 international wickets, the first man in the history of the game to have claimed so many victims in both Tests and ODIs. It left him with a match haul of 9 for 141 and a career tally of 593 Test wickets.

Although the day ended with Sri Lankan smiles - none larger than Muralitharan's - it was not all plain sailing for them. Bangladesh continued to fight in the first session, restricting Sri Lanka's lead to a slender 19 as Shahadat Hossain roughed-up their tail with some hostile pace bowling to finish with 4 for 83. Javed Omar (31) and Nafees Iqbal (6) then frustrated Sri Lanka before and after the lunch break, wiping out Sri Lanka's lead and then extending their partnership to 47.

Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's new captain, was starting to fret before Dilhara Fernando, somewhat fortuitously, broke through as Iqbal chased a wide delivery. It was Iqbal's second soft dismissal of the match and it dragged Sri Lanka back into a contest they were just starting to lose control of. The runs started to dry up and Fernando finally snared Omar, who had been batting solidly, with a full delivery that nipped back. Suddenly, Bangladesh were wobbling on 56 for 2.

Jayawardene tightened the net, launching into the offensive with Muralitharan and Malinga Bandara (2 for 55), and crowded fielders around the bat. Both bowlers spun the ball sharply but slowly off a placid pitch. However, Bandara's nagging accuracy finally paid off as he defeated Habibul Bashar (12) in the air and won an lbw decision.

Bashar would not have unstrapped his pads in the dressing room before hearing Sri Lanka's yelps of joy at the dismissal of Mohammad Ashraful, the first innings centurion and Bangladesh's most dangerous player. Ashraful (1) was left shocked and disbelieving as Upul Tharanga, crouched low at short leg, clasped a brilliant reflex catch off a sweetly timed tuck onto the leg-side.

It seemed then, with Bangladesh on 69 for 4, that the innings might be about to unravel. Several hundred spectators thought so anyway as they rushed out of the stadium after Ashraful's fall. But Mashud and Nafees started a gutsy fightback and were able to resist until after the tea interval, braving Kumar Sangakkara's barbed jibes from behind the stumps and also some probing bowling.

Muralitharan's performance with the bat was briefer ... © AFP
However, a large slice of good fortune ended their 53-run stand as Mashud, who was padding away, was wrongly adjudged to have been caught by a diving Tillakaratne Dilshan off the glove when actually the ball had just run harmlessly up his side. The wicket was Muralitharan's 1000th and it triggered a dramatic slide. Energised and intense, Muralitharan clicked into his most destructive gear, experimenting with his flight, confusing with his variations in pace and deceiving with his spin. Nafees was caught off a leading edge, Alok Kapali was pinned helplessly by a tantalising off break that dropped and spun, and Enamul Haque padded away a doosra that was zooming in on off stump.

Rafique (40) provided Sri Lanka irritation with some lusty blows at the death, lifting the target past 150, but he was finally snared, stranded down the wicket as he tried to flail a quicker Muralitharan delivery that whizzed past his outside edge.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were unable to eke out a substantial lead as Hossain clawed Bangladesh right back into the game, mopping up the visitors' tail with a succession of bumpers that were softly swatted to midwicket. Sri Lanka's problems began with a tortoise-like start to the day, with Thilan Samaraweera (58) and Bandara (19 not out) determined to play themselves in carefully. Eventually, Samaraweera eyed a scoring opportunity and miscued a hook to midwicket where Omar leapt acrobatically to claim a wonderful diving catch.

Samaraweera's fall exposed Sri Lanka's weak tail and Hossain exploited their obvious discomfort against short bowling. Fernando ducked first ball into a lifter - a painful hit that cut open his ear and prompted an early appearance of Tommy Simsek, Sri Lanka's "Flying Physio" (as he is now known for his Olympian sprints onto the field) - and then, rather meekly, he pulled straight into the hands of Shariar Nafees at midwicket.

Muralitharan walked to the crease with a determined look. To almost universal amazement he buckled down to a sensible start, neatly glancing his first ball to the boundary and then getting right behind the ball. But when tempted with some half-trackers, he couldn't control himself any longer, backing away and slogging a catch to midwicket, a chance that was well taken running backwards by Nafees. Bandara, meanwhile, had been batting sensibly at the other end, displaying a solid technique and unravelling a couple of elegant off-side strokes. However, he was left stranded as Lasith Malinga ran himself out first ball.

Malinga, fired-up after the embarrassment of his run-out, pounded in before the break, coming within millimetres of claiming one lbw with a toecrusher and also beating the bat on several occasions. However, Sri Lanka, who too threw the ball early to their spinners, were unable to break through before lunch.

How they were out

Sri Lanka

Thilan Samaraweera c Omar b Hossain 58 (316 for 7)
Top-ended hook to mid-wicket

Dilhara Fernando c Nafees b Hossain 5 (380 for 8)
Top-edged pull to midwicket

Muttiah Muralitharan c Nafees b Hossain (338 for 9)
Spiralling catch off flaying legside swat

Lasith Malinga run out 0 (338 for 10)
Messy mix-up after push into covers


Nafees Iqbal c Sangakkara b Fernando 6 (47 for 1)
Flashed at wide long hop

Javed Omar lbw Fernando 31 (56 for 2)
Beaten by full-length ball that nipped back

Habibul Bashar lbw Bandara 12 (68 for 3)
Beaten in flight by delivery that hurried on

Mohammad Ashraful c Tharanga b Muralitharan 1 (69 for 4)
Clipped off middle to short leg - reflex catch

Khaled Mashud c Dilshan b Muralitharan 15 (122 for 5)
Bad bat-pad decision as he padded away

Shariar Nafees c Fernando b Muralitharan 38 (131 for 6)
Leading edge to mid off as he tried to hit to leg

Alok Kapali lbw Muralitharan 9 (135 for 7)
Pinned on the back foot by ripping offbreak

Shahadat Hossain c Malinga b Bandara 0 (150 for 8)
Lofted to long on, fine catch running back

Enamul Haque Jnr lbw Muralitharan 1(168 for 9)
Padded away doosra that was hitting off

Mohammad Rafique st Sangakkara b Muralitharan 40 (181 for 10)
Stumped trying to loft straight down the ground

Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondent