Bangladesh led by their new skipper Mohammad Ashraful are off to a shocking start to their new era of cricket. Put into bat first at the SSC, the Tigers lost as many as seven wickets in the first session itself. No recovery was possible and they batted themselves out of the test with a dismal total of 89. Sri Lanka might be working out in going for the big records for the next few days.
The first hour was a steady one for the tourists but an unfortunate dismissal of Shahriar Nafees down the legside began the downfall. While some of the batsmen were done in by not reading deliveries, some of them were out to atrocious shot selection. Mohammad Ashraful has himself to blame, playing a half hearted pull shot into the hands of a fielder in the deep off a clever short pitch delivery. Once the early breaks were given, it was then left to Muttiah Muralitharan to run through the remaining batting resources.
Murali’s choice of playing for Sri Lanka instead of Lancashire was a great one as he bagged yet another fifer. This one happens to be his 58th one! And what’s frightening was that he got those five wickets bowling just the 45 balls giving away 15 runs which is three runs price for every Bangladeshi wicket! The entire Bangladeshi innings lasted just 32.3 overs which is just over a session. What was pathetic was that the most number of deliveries played by any batsman was 37 from Rajin Saleh who made 3. All the four Sri Lankan bowlers took atleast a wicket. Along with Murali, Dilhara was destructive with 3 for 33 in 11 overs.
The Sri Lankans had gone in with two new openers for this Test. One of them was Malinda Warnapura who got the unwanted honour of getting dismissed in the first ball he faced in test cricket! Shahadat Hossain was the wicket taker, the fast bowler went onto remove one drop Kumar Sangakkara cheaply to have SL at 14 for 2 in the 4th over. Then it was all about the third wicket partnership between Michael Vandort and Mahela Jayawardene. It ended in the 39th over when Mahela decided to retire hurt owing to cramps. But by then he had smashed 93 facing 115 balls with the help of 14 fours and a six. The new man Chamara Silva was unfortunate to miss out falling for just 1 to Abdur Razzak. Sri Lanka ended the first day taking a lead of 138 with a score of 227 for 3 in 51 overs. At stumps, opener Michael Vandort, a late replacement for Tharanga remained unbeaten with 87 which came in 150 balls with 8 fours and a six. He has Tillakaratne Dilshan giving him the company with 27.
Originally posted 2007-06-25 14:46:45.