Bowlers give Sri Lanka A the edge
Bangladeshis 183 for 5 (Bashar 60*) v Sri Lanka A
A tight bowling display from their bowlers helped Sri Lanka A keep the touring Bangladeshis to 183 for 5 at stumps on the first day of their three-day warm-up game at the Colts Cricket Club in Colombo. The Bangladeshis recovered from a shaky 73 for 3 thanks largely to an unbeaten 60 by Habibul Bashar, the former national captain.
After Mohammad Ashraful, Bashar's replacement as captain, won the toss and elected to bat, openers Javed Omar and Shahriar Nafees started brightly, hitting six boundaries in the first five overs. However, Dammika Prasad, the right-arm medium-pacer with brief international exposure, soon had Nafees caught by Jehan Mubarak.
From here the Sri Lankan attack kept the Bangladeshis quiet and the score crawled to 45 for 1 after 20 overs. The pace was stepped up thereafter as Omar and Rajin Saleh picked up boundaries off each of the next four overs. The Bangladeshis did not suffer any further losses and went in to lunch on a comfortable 69 for 1.
After the interval however, Omar ran himself out then left-arm spinner Rangana Herath trapped Saleh leg before. Bashar and Ashraful then buckled down to forge a 75-run stand which took the Bangladeshis to a respectable 148 for 3. Ashraful was just beginning to cut loose, having scored 20 runs off his last 19 balls, when Herath had him caught behind. Herath struck again off the next delivery dismissing Shakib Al Hasan for a golden duck.
Bashar refused to be distracted by the wickets falling at the other end and was unbeaten on a well-made 60 at stumps. Khaled Mashud defended stoutly to deny Sri Lanka any further success and was unbeaten on 7 from 53 deliveries.
Despite their bright start, Bangladesh's overall scoring rate for the day was a mere 2.3 runs an over. Credit for this should go to the Sri Lankan bowlers, especially Prasad and Kaushal Lokuarachchi who conceded less than one and a half runs an over. However, Herath was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets.
Bangladesh are in Sri Lanka for a full Test and ODI series and this game is their only opportunity to get accustomed to Sri Lankan conditions before the Tests. The match is a twelve-a-side game though only eleven players will be allowed to field at all times and eleven batsmen allowed to bat per side.