Pathetic B’desh hit a new low

Colombo, July 3:

Sri Lanka took charge of the second cricket Test after under-performing Bangladesh crashed to their lowest total of 62 on the opening day’s play here on Tuesday.

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga and off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed four wickets each as Bangladesh, sent in to bat by Sri Lanka, were dismissed in the first over after lunch off 25.2 overs.

Sri Lanka built on the advantage to reach 154-1 in their first innings before heavy rain ended play 16.3 overs early. Malinda Warnapura was unbeaten on 79 and Kumar Sangakkara was on 51, the pair having added 113 for the second wicket after Michael Vandort (14) was bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza.

Bangladesh, thrashed by an innings and 234 runs in last week’s first Test, fell below their previous lowest total of 86, also against Sri Lanka in 2005. Malinga, whose distinctive slinging action makes him a dangerous foe, created havoc in the rival ranks by scalping the first four wickets in a hostile opening spell.

The tourists were reduced to 22-4 within the first hour, before Muralitharan (4-14) and Dilhara Fernando (2-16) polished off the rest of the batting. Muralitharan moved his career tally to 687 wickets, leaving him just 21 short of equalling retired Australian spinner Shane Warne’s world record haul of 708.

Bangladesh, who were bowled out for 89 on the first day of the previous Test, once again found the formidable Sri Lankan attack too hot to handle. Rajin Saleh’s 21 was the top score as none of the other batsmen reached double figures.