Birthday boy Herath spins Sri Lanka to series victory

AP, COLOMBO, Sri Lanka

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - Page 20

Rangana Herath returned career-best match figures of 12 for 157 to propel Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win against Bangladesh on the fourth day of the second Test and 1-0 series victory.

Chasing 160 to win yesterday, Sri Lanka reached the target losing three wickets, led by Tillakaratne Dilshan (57) and Kumar Sangakkara (55).

Herath made it a 35th birthday to remember with his 200th Test wicket, as well as career-best match and innings figures. He was man of the match at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

“After Murali [retired spinner Muttiah Muralitharan], Herath has been the man for us,” Angelo Mathews said after his first series win as captain.

“We have a lot to improve upon and a lot to learn,” Mathews said. “Bangladesh played really well and put us under pressure, but I never really doubted my team.”

Bangladesh, 143-2 in their second innings late on Monday, were all out for 265 by lunch yesterday.

Left-arm spinner Herath, who took two wickets in two balls in Monday’s final session, took the first four yesterday morning, starting in the day’s first over.

When he had Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim caught at slip by his skipper Mathews, Herath had four for 25 off 7.1 overs in the session and brought up his 200th wicket in his 47th Test.

At the end of the innings, he had posted seven for 89 off 36 overs. In the first innings he took five for 68.

It was the third time he had taken 10 wickets or more in a Test, improving on his 12 for 171 against England in Galle, Sri Lanka, last year.

Dilshan and Shaminda Eranga grabbed the last Bangladesh wickets, then Dilshan opened the batting after lunch.

Bangladesh seamer Robiul Islam took the wickets of both openers, dismissing Dimuth Karunaratne (16) leg before wicket and bowling Dilshan.

Dilshan hit six boundaries off 73 deliveries and shared a second-wicket stand of 94 with Sangakkara, who faced 85 deliveries and hit eight boundaries.

The day began with Bangladesh resuming at 158-4, but they lost Mominul Haque in the first over for 37 with just one run added to his overnight score.

Herath kept up the pressure on Bangladesh by bowling Nasir Hossain for a duck.

Rahim and Sohag Gazi resisted briefly with a promising 31-run stand for the seventh wicket, but Gazi was out for 26 to an ambitious shot against Herath and was caught by Suranga Lakmal in the deep.

Rahim soon followed, having made 40 off 87 deliveries, including three boundaries and a six.

Tamim Iqbal top-scored for Bangladesh with 59, while Jahurul Islam made 48.

Sri Lanka dismissed Bangladesh for 240 in the first innings and scored 346 to set up a 106-run first-innings lead.

The first Test ended in a high-scoring draw last week.

A three-match, one-day international series between the sides starts on Saturday.