Wednesday 25 June 2008 

Jayasuriya And Sangakkara Give Tigers Reality Check

Sri Lanka took a comfortable 131-run win over Bangladesh to open their Asia Cup campaign in the best possible manner in Lahore.

A century from Kumar Sangakkara as well as half-centuries from Sanath Jayasuriya and Chamara Kapugedera helped them post 357 for nine before Bangladesh limped to 226 for seven.

Jayasuriya and Sangakkara brought up a half-century partnership from 45 balls with Jayasuriya moving to a 32-ball half-century before he was bowled by Abdur Razzak for 72 from 47 deliveries. Sangakkara moved past his half-century, needing 57 deliveries to do so.

Mahela Jayawardene was also bowled by Razzak for six as Bangladesh, who won the toss, tried to bowl themselves back into the game after being mauled during the Power Play overs.

Sangakkara went on to his century from 100 from 88 balls before he was caught by Raqibul Hasan off of Mahmudullah for 101. Chamara Kapugedera was the next man to pass fifty, Chamara Silva the next wicket, caught by Mushfiqur Rahim off of Alok Kapali for 19.

Kapugedera fell for 74 from 67 deliveries when he was caught by Mashrafe Mortaza off of Abdur Razzak, who bowled impressively once again, taking three for 55.

Chaminda Vaas (13), Nuwan Kulasekera (one) and Muttiah Muralitharan (five) perished late on in the search for late runs leaving Ajantha Mendis unbeaten on 15.

Their bowlers followed up their effort with early wickets as Bangladesh's run chase was hit for six before it got going, Nazimuddin (one) and Mohammad Ashraful (eight) both caught by Sangakkara off of Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando respectively.

Tamim Iqbal, who earlier held two smart catches, was bowled for 28 by Nuwan Kulasekera to leave Bangladesh in trouble.

Raqibul Hasan again showed signs of his promise at this level, sharing a stand of 78 with wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim before he was stumped by Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan the bowler for 35 from 57 deliveries.

Rahim narrowly missed a half-century when he was caught and bowled by Muralitharan for 44 from 53 deliveries to leave Bangladesh five down but still over 200 runs behind with less than 20 overs to go.

The dismissal of Mahmudullah, bowled by Jayasuriya for four didn't help matters, leaving Alok Kapali and Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh's last two recognised hitters, with a mountain to climb.

Kapali was caught by Jayasuriya off of the part-time leg-spin of Chamara Silva for 30 to all but end Bangladesh's slim hopes of a win, although their win over UAE yesterday should guarantee their progress to the Super Fours.

Mortaza ended unbeaten on 34 and Abdur Razzak on 22 while Muralitharan took two for 37.

Bangladesh comfortably overcame the United Arab Emirates by 96 runs yesterday but this was a much sterner test for them and they were found wanting.

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hasan, Alok Kapali, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Dolar Mahmud, Shahadat Hossain, Abdur Razzak

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Ajantha Mendis, Chaminda Vaas, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan

© Cricket World 2008