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Match reports

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2013-14

Wisden's review of the first Test, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2013-14

15-Apr-2015
Mahela Jayawardene pulls away, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Mirpur, 3rd day, January 29, 2014

Mahela Jayawardene helped Sri Lanka clinch the first Test against Bangladesh with his seventh Test double ton  •  AFP

At Mirpur, January 27-30, 2014. Sri Lanka won by an innings and 248 runs. Toss: Sri Lanka. Test debut: Shamsur Rahman.
Sri Lanka have rarely had the bowlers to trouble batsmen with bounce, and Bangladeshi pitches rarely reward fast bowling. But, in Lakmal and Eranga, Sri Lanka had developed seamers with the height and the control to hurry opponents, if not the pace to intimidate them. On a sluggish Mirpur surface, this inexperienced pair showed increasing control as they set in motion an unfamiliar plan, with admirable results.
Bangladesh's resistance was tepid: they appeared keener to entertain than endure, thrashing attractive boundaries but summoning none of the grit that might have made a game of it. An innings and 248 runs was their fourth-heaviest loss, and Sri Lanka's second biggest win (they had beaten Zimbabwe by an innings and 254 at Bulawayo in May 2004).
The Bangladesh bowlers were toothless where the Sri Lankans had been incisive, but it was their batsmen's baffling approach that set them on course for defeat. Mathews had chosen to bowl, and the first breakthrough laid the template. Having begun with uncharacteristic caution, Tamim Iqbal top-edged a pull off Eranga to fine leg, the first of three wickets in three overs. When Mominul Haque was also caught pulling, Bangladesh were 59 for four. Half-centuries from senior batsmen Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim steadied them briefly, but they could not sustain the resurgence: Herath's left-arm spin broke their stand at 86, before the seamers returned to blast out the lower order. A run-rate of 3.63 in a total of 232 suggested a glaring lack of application. The quicker bowlers shared eight wickets, four going to Eranga.
Sri Lanka's top three were more measured as they built a lead between them, with opener Silva hitting a maiden Test hundred, though he was dropped three times. But the men who followed found little reason to exercise caution, and began to flay the bowling as it grew more wayward late on the second day. Jayawardene oversaw the extension of their advantage from sizeable to gargantuan as he completed his seventh Test double century, which put him level with Wally Hammond. Typically, he was strongest behind square on both sides of the wicket, scoring 115 of his 203 runs there. Kithuruwan Vithanage creamed his own maiden hundred at a run a ball; he and Jayawardene added an unbeaten 176 off 29 overs. A total of 730 was the highest yet by any side against Bangladesh, and the lead of 498 was probably excessive, but captain Mathews could argue that there was no harm in indulging the batsmen when his team were so far ahead of the game.
The delayed declaration was not to haunt them. Sri Lanka had dismissed Tamim before the end of the third day, and next morning Bangladesh seemingly decided there was no hope of a draw: again, they set out to play their shots, this time galloping along at 4.82 an over. Four of their top seven perished to aggressive strokes, while Mominul alone reached 50. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera wrapped up victory with a maiden five-wicket haul in his second Test, and by mid-afternoon the Sri Lankans - perhaps in search of something a little more competitive - were playing football.
Man of the Match: D. P. M. D. Jayawardene.