Ashraful ton dominates first day at Chittagong

Chittagong, February 28:

Mohammad Ashraful struck a sparkling ton as Bangladesh put up a gritty display on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday.

Ashraful produced a well-paced knock of 136 that enabled Bangladesh to reach 315-9 at stumps after electing to bat. Shahadat Hossain (11) and Enamul Haque (one) were the not out batsmen at close.

Bangladesh, who have lost all their five previous Tests against Sri Lanka, made a positive start, scoring 300 on a single day of a Test for the first time.

Ashraful, who slammed a century on debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001, once again showed his liking for their bowlers as he played both pace and spin with ease.

He smashed 15 fours and three sixes during his 186-ball knock and got to his third century in 30 Tests with a lovely pulled four off Lasith Malinga. He was involved in two useful partnerships that boosted the total after a double strike from leg-spinner Malinga Bandara had pushed them on to the back foot.

Ashraful added 65 for the fourth wicket with Shahriar Nafees (27) and dominated a 64-run stand for the fifth with Khaled Mashud (6).

Mashud, Alok Kapali (16) and Ashraful all fell in the last session to spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is playing his 100th Test.

Earlier, Bandara struck two quick blows before lunch. He bowled Nafees Iqbal (34) off the last ball of his first over and then trapped Habibul Bashar (29) lbw with the first ball of his next as Bangladesh fell from 76-1 to 81-3.

Iqbal and Bashar had added 72 in just over 26 overs but Malinga pegged back the home side with the quick dismissals after opener Javed Omar (four) fell to Lasith Malinga.


BANGLADESH — 1st Innings

J Omar c Samaraweera b Malinga 4

N Iqbal b Bandara 34

H Bashar lbw b Bandara 29

S Nafees b Maharoof 27

M Ashraful c Tharanga b Muralitharan 136

K Mashud lbw b Muralitharan 6

A Kapali c Tharanga b Muralitharan 16

M Rafique b Malinga 17

S Hossain not out 11

S Rasel b Malinga 1

E Haque not out 1

Extras: 33 (b11, lb4, w3, nb15)

Total: 315/9

FoW: 1-4, 2-76, 3-81, 4-145, 5-210, 6-248, 7-293, 8-308, 9-314

Sri Lanka bowling: Malinga 16-3-55-3, Maharoof 11-3-37-1, Fernando 17-4-50-0, Muralitharan 31-8-85-3, Bandara 13-0-61-2, Dilshan 2-0-12-0