Wed, Mar 01, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Bangladesh leaves Sri Lanka at 315-9


Mohammad Ashraful smashed his third test century to power Bangladesh to 315-9 in the first cricket test match against Sri Lanka yesterday.

Muttiah Muralitahran and Lasith Malinga snared three wickets apiece, with Malinga Bandara taking two.

At stumps, Bangladesh cruised to 315 in its first innings. Tailenders Shahadat Hossain remained unbeaten on 11, with Enamul Haque, who just scored a single.

The total was Bangladesh's highest test run scored in a day in the 41 test matches it has so far played.

Ashraful's solid knock of 136 off 184 balls included 15 boundaries and three sixes at Chittagong's Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium.

In hammering his second test hundred against Sri Lanka in five years, Ashraful craftily tackled top off-spinner Muralitharan before being dismissed by him.

The right-hand batsman arrived at the crease when Bangladesh was wobbling at 81-3 thanks to a fine spell by legspinner Malinga Bandara, who grabbed two wickets in as many overs just before lunch.

Ashraful pulled a short ball off Lasith Malinga for a boundary to reach the landmark. He struck his maiden century in 2001 against Sri Lanka.

After Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar won the toss and opted to bat first, the focus was on Muralitharan who appeared in his 100th test match, only 16 wickets away from his 600th test wicket, second only to Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne.

Muralitharan had to wait until after lunch for his first wicket of the match when he removed Khaled Mashud (6). He also dismissed Alok Kapali (16).

The first session was dominated by Bandara, who clean bowled opener Nafees Iqbal (34) in his first over, followed by the leg-before-wicket dismissal of captain Habibul Bashar, who made 29.

The spinner broke Bangladesh's 72-run second wicket stand between Iqbal and Bashar just before lunch.

Pacer Malinga removed experienced opener Javed Omar in the first over of the match for four. Javed edged a sharp catch to Thilan Samaraweera at first slip, leaving Bangladesh at 4-1.

Bashar and Iqbal defied Sri Lanka's Muralitharan, who was to get a wicket before lunch.

At lunch Shahriar Nafees remained unbeaten on four with Mohammad Ashraful on three.

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