leads Bangla bash
Sri Lanka eased in to a comfortable
37 run win over in the opening ICC Champions Trophy
qualifier in Mohali after Man-of-the-match Upul Tharanga's
century. Tharanga (105) hit 11 fours and a six to help
them post 302-8, with Mohammad Rafique (1-37) the tidiest
Farveez Maharoof then had Aftab Ahmed
(33) and Habibul Bashar caught within three balls to
leave the Tigers 78-4.
Ferhad Reza (33) attacked but he was
stumped off Muttiah Muralitharan and the game already
looked up at 141-5. Earlier, Mashrafa Mortaza found
plenty of seam movement to trouble Sri Lanka's openers
and Sanath Jayasuriya was fortunate to survive a confident
lbw shout, but both left-handers got plenty of joy in
the cover and point regions as they punished Syed Rasel
and Farhad Reza's inviting medium pace.
It was a shock when Rasel trapped
Jayasuriya leg before but Tharanga continued to play
with real authority to record his fourth century in
one-day internationals this year off 122 balls.
Mahela Jayawardene also went after
the bowling, top-edging Reza for six and crashing three
other boundaries in the same over, before fetching Abdur
Razzak from outside off-stump straight into Ahmed's
hands at mid-wicket.
It preceded a period of consolidation
in which Razzak and Rafique's spin exercised some control
and Kumar Sangakkara's frustration resulted in him holing
out off Rafique to Mortaza running round from long-on.
Atapattu, returning after long-term
back problems, looked in good nick but was one of three
wickets to fall in quick succession in the late dash
|Sri Lankan cricketer
Uppal Tharanga raises his bat after completing a
century (100 runs) during the first match of the
Champions Trophy limited-overs tournament at The
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali,
07 October 2006. Sri Lanka are currently 293 runs
for the loss of seven wickets after 49 overs. Bangladesh
captain Habibul Bashar elected to field after winning
the toss against Sri Lanka in the opening qualifying
match of the Champions Trophy tournament.
AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH
Mortaza finally had some reward when
Tharanga slogged and missed at his slower ball, Atapattu
was snaffled at wide long-on off Rasel by Reza, who
ran out Maharoof for a duck with a smart piece of fielding.
Chaminda Vaas flipped Razzak to backward
square-leg where that man Reza pounced again and Muralitharan
was run out in comical circumstances after battering
Mortaza over his head for a mighty six and being dropped
Amid all that chaos 28 runs came in
the final two overs and it soon became clear that Bangladesh
were unlikely to get close.
Sangakkara took a fine diving catch
when Vaas found the edge of Shahriar Nafees' bat and
Mohammad Ashraful tickled a quick one from Dilhara Fernando
down the leg-side to the keeper.
Aftab attempted to lead a riposte
by launching Fernando over long-leg for six and lacing
him over mid-on. But any hopes of a revival were dashed
when he too was caught behind and skipper Bashar edged
guided the ball into opposite number Jayawardene's safe
Reza was undaunted and blasted a six
and three fours of Maharoof, although he was fortunate
when Malinga pouched a chance off Muralitharan only
to spill it. The end was not long in coming as his charge
at the off-spinner resulted in an easy stumping chance.
Saqibul Hasan who made 69 not out
in 108 balls top scored for Bangladesh.