Second Test

Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2005-06


At P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo, September 20, 21, 22, 2005. Sri Lanka won by an innings and 69 runs. Toss: Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh took a two-day break after their crushing defeat in the First Test to try to regroup for the Second. However, the match followed a depressingly similar pattern: Bangladesh started promisingly, before being thoroughly outplayed. Once again, Sri Lanka wrapped up victory before lunch on the third day, condemning Bangladesh to their fourth consecutive three-day innings defeat.

It was a special match for 36-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya, who became the first Sri Lankan to play in 100 Tests. Unfortunately, he was not able to celebrate with a century, falling for 13 as Bangladesh's young fast bowlers, Syed Rasel and Shahadat Hossain, quickly reduced Sri Lanka to 48 for four. They swung the ball both ways, exploiting the traditional first-morning juice in the Sara Stadium's pitch. However, Bangladesh were unable to capitalise on their early advantage. The new-ball pair tired (they were the only seamers selected), and a hot sun deadened the pitch. Samaraweera and Dilshan counter-attacked, consolidating before lunch and then snatching away the initiative afterwards. Dilshan shrugged off a painful elbow (he had been hit while practising the previous day) to make 103 in the afternoon session alone: in all he spanked a superb 168 from 179 balls, while Samaraweera anchored the innings with 138 from 217 balls. A helmetless Vaas then breezed to a half-century, and there was time for Muralitharan to complete 1,000 runs, in his 95th Test.

Atapattu briefly considered an overnight declaration to exploit any early-morning moisture, but decided instead to search for quick runs. He need not have bothered: two quick wickets went down and he declared anyway. But his bowlers, led by the impressive Dilhara Fernando, ripped through the Bangladesh batting, and 14 more wickets tumbled on the second day. The only sustained resistance came late on as Shahriar Nafees, dropped down to No. 4 for the follow-on, made a plucky 51, his maiden Test half-century. Fernando, nipping the ball off the seam and bowling with sustained hostility on a quicker pitch than the one for the First Test, showed off some much-improved rhythm after several weeks' hard work with Tom Moody, Sri Lanka's new coach, and captured five top-order wickets. Mohammad Ashraful dented Fernando's bowling figures a little with a swashbuckling 41-ball 42, before he miscued a cleverly disguised slower delivery. Fernando's bowling was backed up by some brilliant catching, especially by Sangakkara behind the stumps and Samaraweera at slip. Muralitharan broke the fourth-wicket stand of 75 between Nafees and Ashraful just before the end of the second day, and Sri Lanka quickly finished off the game next morning. Vaas started the victory procession with a skilful display of swing bowling, dismissing Ashraful with a leg-cutter and bowling night-watchman Shahadat with an in-dipper, then Murali and Herath disposed of the tail.

Man of the Match: T. T. Samaraweera.

Man of the Series: T. M. Dilshan.

© John Wisden & Co.
 
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