Samaraweera And Muralitharan Give Sri Lanka The Edge

Thilan Samaraweera hit 91 and Muttiah Muralitharan took five wickets as Sri Lanka assumed a position of control on day two of the first Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur. Samaraweera's half-century helped Sri Lanka recover to be bowled out for 293 before Muralitharan's five for 48 reduced Bangladesh to 177 for nine at stumps. Left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan took five wickets in an innings for the fourth time in five matches as only Samaraweera stood firm. Sri Lanka resumed on 172 for six but a partnership of 99 between Samaraweera and Chaminda Vaas (37) got them back on track. Mashrafe Mortaza finally ended their recovery when Vaas was caught behind and the final three wickets fell for just 23 runs. Dammika Prasad (3) was trapped in front by Shakib, Rangana Herath was run out and Samaraweera was the last to fall, caught by Zunaed Siddique off of Shakib. He faced 141 balls and hit 13 fours. Vaas and Muralitharan then shared four wickets to leave Bangladesh in trouble heading into the final session as the tourists wasted a promising start which saw Imrul Kayes hit fluent 33 and Siddique 29. Wickets fell regularly when Bangladesh batted as despite Mehrab Hossain (28) and Shakib (27) getting starts, Muralitharan was in his element, spinning his way to a staggering 66th five-wicket haul in Test cricket to put his side in a dominant position. © Cricket World 2008