Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Sri Lanka batsmen prove too much for Bangladesh


Sri Lankan cricketer Prasanna Jayawardene, left, is watched by Bangladeshi wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud as he plays a shot during the second day of the first Test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds in Colombo yesterday.


Four batsmen scored centuries as Sri Lanka flexed its batting might to tighten the screws on Bangladesh in the second day of the first cricket Test yesterday.

Maiden Test hundreds by Prasanna Jayawardene and veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas capped a solid batting display by the hosts, while captain Mahela Jayawardene and opener Michael Vandort also reached three figures.

Having shot out Bangladesh for 89 on the opening day, Sri Lanka piled up 577-6 in their first innings before declaring 15 minutes before close of the second day's play.

Bangladesh, trailing by 488 runs, safely negotiated three overs before close to finish the day on three for no loss.

Sri Lanka's run deluge left Bangladesh facing an uphill struggle to avoid defeat in the first of three Test matches on their five-week tour.

Mohammad Ashraful's tourists lasted just 32.3 overs on the first day with Muttiah Muralitharan taking five wickets after seamer Dilhara Fernando had destroyed the top order with three wickets.

Runs came easily against the tiring Bangladesh attack that lacked the firepower to disturb the batsmen on the easy-paced wicket at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

It was Sri Lanka's highest total against Bangladesh, surpassing their 555-5 declared when the two sides met for the first time in September 2001.

Bangladesh were frustrated by an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 223 between Prasanna Jayawardene and Vaas after Sri Lanka were restricted to 354-6 in the post-lunch session.

The partnership was Sri Lanka's best ever for the seventh wicket, easily going past the 194 between Hashan Tillakaratne and Thilan Samaraweera against India in 2001.

Prasanna Jayawardene, who was the team's wicket-keeper after Kumar Sangakkara said he preferred to play as a specialist batsman, compiled his first century in only his 10th Test.

Mahela Jayawardene declared the innings soon after Vaas, a veteran of 97 matches, got his first ton.

Earlier, left-handed Vandort, a late replacement for the injured Upul Tharanga, hit 117 with the help of nine boundaries and three sixes.

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