Muralitharan destroys Bangladesh

Colombo, June 25:

Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan claimed his 58th five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka overpowered Bangladesh on the opening day of the Test on Monday.

The off-spinner grabbed 5-15 as Bangladesh were shot out for their third lowest total of 89 in 32.3 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka were 227-3 at stumps, a lead of 138 runs, despite a troubled start when seamer Shahadat Hossain removed debutant Malinda Warnapura (0) and Kumar Sangakkara (6) in his first two overs.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene hit 93 before he retired hurt due to a strain in his right calf muscle.

Opener Michael Vandort, who put on 170 for the third wicket with his skipper, was not out on 87. Tillakaratne Dilshan was unbeaten on 27.

Muralitharan took his career tally to 679 wickets, leaving him just 30 away from surpassing retired Australian spinner Shane Warne’s world record of 708. Muralitharan ripped through the tourists’ line-up after the seamers did the early damage. Dilhara Fernando took 3-33 and Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga shared the remaining two as Bangladesh collapsed to 64-7 by lunch.

Bangladesh were in danger of falling short of their lowest Test totals — 86 against Sri Lanka and 87 against the West Indies — when they further slumped to 69-8. Khaled Mashud (12 not out) and Mohammad Rafique (11) took them to 85, before last man Abdur Razzak drove Muralitharan through the covers for a boundary to prevent a new low by his team.

Shakib-Al Hasan’s 16 was the top score. The top five batsmen were back in the pavilion with just 50 runs on the board.

Muralitharan, who was introduced in the 18th over, struck with his fifth delivery and then took wickets at regular intervals.

The hosts left the wicketkeeper’s duties to Prasanna Jayawardene as Kumar Sangakkara took the field as one of seven specialist batsmen. They play three Tests and as many ODIs in the series.