Sri Lanka march to innings win over Bangladesh

Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera picks up five wickets in touring side's innings and 248-run win at Mirpur.

Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera took his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket at the age of 31. Munir uz Zaman / AFP
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Dilruwan Perera, the off-spinner, picked up five wickets as Sri Lanka thumped fragile Bangladesh by an innings and 248 runs in the first Test in Dhaka on Thursday.

Bangladesh, trailing by a huge 498-run margin on first innings, were bowled out for 250 in their second knock after lunch on the fourth day at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

Perera, a 31-year-old playing in his second Test, finished with five for 109 while seamer Suranga Lakmal took three as the hosts were dismissed in 51.5 overs with a day to spare.

Bangladesh, who resumed the day at 35 for one, failed to cope with Sri Lanka’s pace and spin assault and lost their last nine wickets for 215 runs despite the even-paced pitch.

The hosts were reduced to 197 for nine before the last-wicket pair of Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain boosted the total with lusty hitting during an entertaining partnership of 53 runs off 38 balls.

Rubel made 17, while Al Amin returned unbeaten on a quickfire 32 off 18 balls that contained four sixes and one boundary.

Bangladesh, who made 232 in their first innings, conceded their highest Test total of 730 for six declared. Three Sri Lankans hit centuries including Mahela Jayawardene, who scored an unbeaten double-ton.

Jayawardene, who was named man of the match, said he was happy to contribute to what was a “great game” by the team.

“It has been some time since I got a big one,” the 36-year-old former captain said. “I thought it was a great game by the team as everyone put their hands up and performed.

“I think the wicket played really well, and even today there was a little bit of pace for our quicks, and for the spinners it was turning, but the important thing was the bounce which really helped us.

“Test cricket is all about handling situations, that is where our guys did well. We applied ourselves and made sure we did not lose wickets up front.”

Sri Lanka have now won 14 of their 15 Tests against Bangladesh, eight of them by an innings margin, and drawn the other.

On their previous tour in 2008/09, Sri Lanka had won the first Test by 107 runs and the second by 465 runs.

Bangladesh, who languish at the bottom of the Test rankings at No 10 – lower than unfancied Zimbabwe – have lost 68 of their 82 Tests since gaining full status in 2000.

They have won four Tests, two each against Zimbabwe and the West Indies.

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, rued the lack of runs in the first innings that set his team back.

“It was a good wicket to bat on, but we did not play well from day one and that put us on the back foot,” he said. “It is very difficult to come back from there.

“The boys just did not show the fight in the middle. Hopefully we will come back strongly in the next Test. We need to work on our batting. It is important that someone from the top plays a big innings.”

Opener Shamsur Rahim was dismissed off the second ball of the day, fending at a vicious short ball from Shaminda Eranga and edging a catch to Dinesh Chandimal, the wicketkeeper.

Mominul Haque smashed eight boundaries in a fluent 50 off 57 balls, but the assault did not last long as he fell leg-before to Perera.

The second Test starts in the port city of Chittagong on February 4. It will be followed by two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals.

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