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Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Colombo, 2nd day

Bangladesh are looking down the barrel

The Report by Charlie Austin

September 13, 2005

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Bangladesh 36 for 3 and 188 (Bashar 84, Herath 4-38) trail Sri Lanka 370 for 9 dec (Samaraweera 78, Jayawardene 63, Dilshan 86, Rafique 5-114) by 146 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

How they were out

A double strike by Muthiah Muralitharan just before a torrential rainstorm forced players off the field left Sri Lanka in control after they had built a 182-run lead through painstaking half centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan , Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene. Bangladesh will start the third day on 36 for 3, still trailing by 146 runs. Their hopes of escaping defeat now rest firmly on the shoulders of their captain Habibul Bashar and the weather gods. This is the monsoon season so Bangladesh do have some hope, although three days of rain is improbable.

The major obstacle, of course, was going to be Muralitharan on a track that has started to turn viciously. Earlier in the day, Mohammad Rafique's made Sri Lankan batsmen worked hard for their runs with his snappy off-spin and picked up 5 for 114 . When Bangladesh started their second innings, it was only a matter of time before Muralitharan got in to the act.

Shariar Nafees (13) played Muralitharan well during the one-day series but here he was bamboozled by the doosra. He raised his bat to what he thought was an offspinner but the ball hurried straight on and bowled him between his legs. Mohammad Ashraful was trapped lbw next ball, also padding away the doosra.

Earlier, Lasith Malinga had struck with the new ball, somewhat fortuitously, as Javed Omar (nine) glanced down the leg-side. Kumar Sangakkara, who has been razor-sharp behind the stumps, moved quickly to take the ball two-handed.

Many had predicted a run fest for Sri Lanka's batsmen against a weakened Bangladesh attack but the slow and spin-friendly Premadasa pitch ensured that runs were hard to come for the normally free-scoring Sri Lankan batsmen.

Bangladesh bowled well, especially Rafique, who made amends for his practice-session outburst last week. All the batsmen treated him warily and during the afternoon he added the scalps of Chaminda Vaas, Rangana Herath and Muttiah Muralitharan to that of Jayawardene in the morning to finish with 5 for 114 from 37 overs.

Jayawardene was the only casualty of the morning session, feathering a catch to Khaled Mashud as he tried to cut through the off side. He also provided the most entertainment, stroking seven silky fours and a majestic six over extra cover off Rafique.

Jayawardene and Samaraweera added 101 off 225 balls for the fourth wicket, saving Sri Lanka from potential embarrassment after Sangakkara's fall last evening. Jayawardene eventually departed for 63 from 120 balls, a slow strike by his standards, which only proved the sluggishness of the pitch.



Tilakeratne Dilshan's innings of 86 was instrumental in building a solid first innings lead © Getty Images
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Dilshan started briskly before lunch and tried to be positive too in the afternoon, occasionally dancing down the pitch to drive inside-out through the covers. But he too was forced to be patient and the runs flowed slowly.

Eventually, Shahadat Hossain brokethrough when Samaraweera glanced a catch down the legside, ending a 64-run stand. Samaraweera's four-hour vigil had spanned 198 balls and included just six fours.

Rafique kept plugging away and was rewarded with a couple of wickets in the final hour before tea. Chaminda Vaas was sent packing after trying to pad away a delivery that spun back sharply and Herath edged behind while cutting on the stroke of the break.

After the break, Dilshan pressed his foot down on the accelerator. Muralitharan strode out confidently, looking for his 1000th run in Test cricket, but then lunged forward lamely and left disappointed. Dilshan cracked a couple of boundaries before being bowled off an ambitious pull.

How they were out:

Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene c Mashud b Rafique 63 (231 for 4)
Caught behind trying to play a cut

Thilan Samaraweera c Mashud b Hossain 78 (295 for 5)
Tickled leg glance to the wicket-keeper

Chaminda Vaas lbw Rafique 5 (306 for 6)
Hid bat and padded away delivery hitting leg

Rangana Herath c Mashud b Rafique 13 (337 for 7)
Thin edge while trying to cut

Muttiah Muralitharan c Mashud b Rafique 3 (345 for 8)
Lunged forward and edged behind

Tillakaratne Dilshan b Rasel 86 (370 for 9)
Misjudged length and missed attempted pull

Bangladesh

Javed Omar c Sangakkara b Malinga 9 (9 for 1)
Flicked down the leg side

Shariar Nafees b Muralitharan 13 (35 for 2)
Shouldered arms to doosra and was bowled between legs

Mohammad Ashraful lbw Muralitharan 0 (35 for 3)
Padded away doosra

Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Charlie Austin Sri Lanka editor When Charlie Austin left for Sri Lanka after graduating from Sussex University, he was a planning a winter's cricket in the tropics and a six-month stint with an environmental NGO. His mother's worst fears were soon realised when it became clear that he had fallen in love with the island. Six months have now become eight years and Colombo has become his home. He joined Cricinfo in February 2000 and now heads operations in Sri Lanka, responsible for both sales and editorial. He is also the director of a UK-based travel company called Red Dot Tours, and is currently ghosting Muttiah Muralitharan's autobiography.
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