Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 4th day March 19, 2013

Birthday boy Herath stars in Sri Lankan win


Sri Lanka 346 (Sangakkara 139, Chandimal 102) and 160 for 3 (Dilshan 57, Sangakkara 55) beat Bangladesh 240 (Mominul64, Herath 5-68) and 265 (Tamim 59, Herath 7-89) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement in 2010, Sri Lanka had won only four Tests. Rangana Herath's figures in those are: 9 for 128, 12 for 171, 5 for 121 and 11 for 108. They completed their fifth victory on Tuesday at the R Premadasa Stadium, and Herath was instrumental yet again - marking his 35th birthday with figures of 12 for 157 to strangle Bangladesh and set up a 1-0 series win.

There was the added joy of completing 200 Test scalps for Herath. In the last two years alone, he has taken more Test wickets than any Sri Lankan has in their career, barring Murali and Chaminda Vaas.

His heroics have smoothed Sri Lanka's transitional phase. Regulars like Thilan Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene have been discarded, and the Sri Lankan captaincy spot has been a bit of a merry-go-round in the past few years. Anything less than a victory in this series would have heaped the pressure on the new leader, Angelo Mathews, who hasn't had the best of times in the two Tests.

The experienced Herath began the trek towards victory with his bagful of wickets, after which two other senior statesmen, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, quickened the march with brisk half-centuries that left Sri Lanka on the brink of another series win over Bangladesh.

Herath had undone 80 overs of good work from Bangladesh yesterday with a double-strike late in the final session. In his first three overs today, Bangladesh's chances nearly evaporated. The sixth ball of the day spun and Mominul Haque's attempt at working it to the leg side resulted in a catch at short leg, and soon after he removed the usually reliable Nasir Hossain, who looked to launch the ball towards long-on only for it to turn past his bat and hit the middle of middle stump.

With the lead only 65, it left Mushfiqur Rahim as the only recognised batsmen. To the credit of the Bangladesh lower order, they didn't collapse completely against the rampant Herath. Even between those two early Herath strikes, Mushfiqur charged out and slammed a straight six, and the big strokes regularly flowed as the Bangladesh tail searched for quick runs.

Sohag Gazi typified that approach. In the first over of the second new ball, he was put down in the cordon by Dimuth Karunaratne, which only prompted a series of boundaries - three off his next four deliveries before he was caught at long-on looking to clear the rope.

Sri Lanka's catching has been below-par in this match, but Angelo Mathews snapped up his second sharp take at slip to dismiss Mushfiqur for 40, with the lead at 122. There was no quick finish as Abul Hasan, who hit the headlines with a whirlwind debut century last November, again showed off his hitting ability, striking a couple of big sixes to push the lead past 150.

With the tailenders hitting out against the spinners, Sri Lanka turned to the pace of Shaminda Eranga. It took him only five deliveries to finish off the innings, following up a bouncer with a yorker that cannoned towards the base of offstump, leaving Sri Lanka a target of 160.

Sri Lanka began the chase brightly, but Dimuth Karunaratne failed again, which means he has only one half-century in his previous 10 Test innings. Karunaratne shouldered arms to an incoming delivery to be lbw for 16. Any nerves for the home side though were eased by a stream of boundaries from Dilshan, while Sangakkara continued to show the form that has fetched him three centuries in three innings in this series. The pair put on a 94-run stand to erase any doubts over a Sri Lankan victory.

It was another defeat for Bangladesh, but it wasn't all gloom for them, especially considering the hammering they have usually received on visits to Sri Lanka. Though it was a flat track in Galle, Bangladesh's notoriously fragile batting showed plenty of backbone after Sri Lanka had piled up a big total. Even in this defeat, they regularly pushed Sri Lanka, making the home side work hard for victory. There was improvement, but not enough to force a favourable result.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shoaib on March 20, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @SL_rockz: Again excuses! is that why Australia thrashed Sri Lank in 3-4 days? :) fact is you failed to thrash Bangladesh at home. Also so what if Bangladesh have zero points in ranking its not like they play enough Test Cricket these days :P

  • Yasiru on March 20, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    History Remains the same ...Except for one match due to the pitch BD still cant keep a test match alive for 5 days.....Reality is that ...But some commented here before the commencement of the series about a white wash to BD :P IF galle pitch was not such a flat track it will b a white wash but for SL...Series was always in the hand of SL even befre t had begun....But BD you know as usual before the start of any series tells that they will win (They tell that befre coz they always loose after the series end)....Hilarious...A country with 0 points in test analysis and never even came closer to win talked about white wash....SL must be careful to make correct pitches .....Why you make pitches to draw matches when match was already in ur hand ...i cant understand y??? .... But at the end we won ..WIN is WIN and LoST is LOST.....Some BD's trying to beat the bush and pretend as usual they cud have won if dz and dat went their way blaming to pitches and umpiring decisions etc.....

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    where Murali had the support of Vaas, Malinga and Herath himself, Herath is largely on his own

  • eranda on March 20, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    @ raman silva ...also the pakistanis have played full series against AUS ENG in last couple of years..and these days they playing against SA a full series..and dont know much about the bangladeshis....again feel sorry for you....

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    congratulations SL for the series win. BD gave a good fight and they played well compared to the past perfomance in SL . Chandimal played well in colombo where batting condition was tough a bit. I'm expecting a competitive ODI series....

  • Ryju on March 20, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Yes true enough the match was won by our senior players so whats the big deal after all they are in the playing 11 so they will contribute , we have a good bunch of youngsters they will kick on time , seems the Indians are very concerned about the srilankan future :-) , you will have your own problem in SA , AUS and Eng lets wait and see ....

  • kaisar on March 20, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    congatz to sl for their seris win. also tiger for playing excellent cricket. hopefully. they will perform better in odi....

  • Raman on March 20, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    SL and BD have played against each other too often. When countries with more clout such as AUS, ENG, SA do not give full series to SL, BD, PAK playing against each other often is the only option. For SL players these mutual series have given the opportunity to improve their averages/records as some critiques point out. But the positive side is that BD players also got opportunities to try their metal. This series proved that they will be a force to be reckoned with in near future. We will see a better contested series when BD play in the sub-continent next time. There is a long way for them too go to conquer other frontiers. Good luck to them.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Congrats to the Lankans! As for BD, nothing to be ashamed of, most people didn't expect the team to even compete in this test series considering the amount of injuries to key players, specially when they missed Shakib who is not only their best batsman but also their best bowler and also the absence of the service of experienced pacer Mashrafee, terribly effected them! But a very good effort at the end in both the tests although some bad decisions was made against them (why all the time these decision is made to the weaker teams?) ! In the 2nd test, for the wet outfield BD missed few runs which costs them heavily, otherwise this match might go to a very interesting & more competitive finish! Anyway, well done Tigers with all their very promising young guns! ICC should give more tests to BD if they want better result from them. Any way, all the best for the one day series and hope that BD would be more competitive in this shorter format and i wouldn't be surprised if BD wins the series!

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    come on,SL is a better team than us n they won the test series cos they played better cricket than us,simple.....I like SL because of their mentality,most of the SL fans have been encouraging 4 us 4 a long time...please guys dont spoil this relationship by some stupid comments (both the SL n BD fans plz dont act like the stupid Indian fans)...we all love our own team.....A good test series,hopefully the ODI series will be a rocking one