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Sri Lanka claim series win despite Ashraful heroics
July 05, 2007 17:29 IST
Sri Lanka [Images] overcame a spirited Bangladesh fightback to win the second Test by an innings and 90 runs on Thursday and clinch the three-match series.
Mohammad Ashraful [Images] led a brave fight-back with an unbeaten 129 but could not prevent Bangladesh losing.
The tourists produced a much-improved display on the third day with Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim (80) sharing a record 191-run stand for the sixth wicket, the highest partnership in Bangladesh's Test history.
However, Sri Lanka soon wrapped up the game after Muttiah Muralitharan broke through after tea, taking the last five wickets for 30 to bowl out Bangladesh for 299 and claim an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Veteran left-armer Chaminda Vaas [Images] finished with four for 55 after claiming the wickets of Mohammad Sharif (two) and Mashrafe Mortaza [Images] (nought), both trapped lbw after Sri Lanka took the second new ball.
Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando also chipped in with three for 60 from 17 overs.
Ashraful bounced back after a duck in the first innings with a responsible knock, curbing his natural inclination to attack.
The 22-year-old mixed patient defence with some delightful strokes during a fourth test century that spanned 236 deliveries and included 18 boundaries.
Rahim, selected ahead of the more experienced Khaled Mashud, provided solid support with a determined 80 from 183 balls, a personal best and his first half century in Test cricket.
Their partnership surpassed Habibul Bashar and Shariar Nafees' 187-run second-wicket stand against Australia in 2006, the previous highest by a Bangladesh pair in test cricket.
The third Test starts in Kandy next Wednesday.