Sri Lanka seamers rock Bangladesh at Dhaka
Dhaka: Seamers Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal shared seven Bangladesh wickets as Sri Lanka dominated the opening day of the first Test in Dhaka on Monday. Eranga finished with 4-49 and Lakmal claimed 3-66 to help bowl out Bangladesh for 232 after the tourists won the toss and chose to field at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Shaminda Eranga. Pic/AFP
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (61) and Shakib Al Hasan (55) were the only batsmen to resist the accurate Sri Lankan attack on an even-paced pitch. Sri Lanka made 60 for no loss in reply by stumps, with Dimuth Karunaratne unbeaten on 28 and Kaushal Silva on 30. They are now 172 runs behind with all 10 wickets in hand.
Eranga, who had taken 33 wickets in 10 previous Tests, said the plan to bounce out Bangladesh worked well. "There was an obvious plan to use the short ball, otherwise it would have been difficult to take wickets on this pitch," he said. "I am glad it went well for me today."
The tourists justified skipper Angelo Mathews' decision to bowl first by grabbing four wickets with just 59 runs on the board. Shakib and Rahim joined hands at that stage to stitch together a fifth-wicket stand of 86, before the hosts suffered two quick blows to slip to 150-6 midway through the afternoon session.
Shakib fell leg-before to veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, before Eranga had new batsman Nasir Hossain caught behind in the next over to claim his third wicket in the innings. Rahim then added 53 for the seventh wicket with all-rounder Sohag Gazi before he fell leg-before to Lakmal soon after the tea break.
Gazi boosted the total with 42 off 56 balls that contained six boundaries and a six, but found little support at the other end. Shakib said he was disappointed at his team's low score since it was a good wicket to bat on.
"We should have scored 375 runs on this pitch," he said. "They bowled well but we also made mistakes. We are already far behind in this Test now." Debutant opening batsman Shamsur Rahman smashed 33 of the first 59 runs with the help of seven boundaries, but failed to build on the fluent start in the morning session.
Bangladesh lost three wickets in successive overs to slide from 35-0 to 40-3 as Eranga removed Tamim Iqbal and Rahman, and Mathews trapped Marshall Ayub leg-before. Lakmal dismissed Mominul Haque before Shakib and Rahim settled in to retrieve the situation.
Bangladesh left out Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Mahmudullah and Abdur Razzak from their initial squad, and went in with three quick bowlers in Rubel Hossain, Robiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain.
Sri Lanka took the field without Test wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who flew home early on Friday for family reasons. A Sri Lanka Cricket statement later in the day announced the death of his father. Dinesh Chandimal donned the gloves in Prasanna's absence.
The tourists omitted unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and preferred all-rounder Dilruwan Perera in the first of two Test matches. Sri Lanka will also play three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games during the tour that ends on February 22.