Mahela worried about Sri Lanka’s top order batting
First Test against Bangladesh begins today:
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene hopes his deputy Kumar
Sangakkara will be ready to solve their top order batting woes when they
face Bangladesh in the first test in Dhaka starting on Friday.
Sangakkara had a cut in his right foot and was struggling to wear
shoes since Sri Lanka arrived in Dhaka last week to play the two-match
test series and a tri-nation one-day tournament involving Zimbabwe and
Sangakkara, who was the highest run-getter in tests against
Bangladesh with 707 runs until he was recently dethroned by South
African captain Graeme Smith, also missed Sri Lanka’s only warm-up game
that ended on Tuesday.
“He is healing quickly and looks okay now. Hopefully he will be ready
before the first test starts,” Jayawardene told reporters.
Jayawardene wants Sangakkara to be back to give his top order batting
line up solidity as it looked vulnerable in a warm-up game against the
Bangladesh Cricket Board XI.
Though their bowlers excelled in the three-day games and bowled the
local side out for 88 runs in the first innings, Sri Lanka’s top order
struggled against the largely inexperienced opponents.
They collapsed to 38-3 and needed two half-centuries from late order
batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasanna Jayawardene to restore their
Sri Lanka finally scored 316 runs in their only innings of the drawn
Jayawardene was duly worried about the top order batting. “We bowled
very well and our middle order also batted well, though the top order
disappointed me,” he said.
Sri Lanka have won all 10 test matches they played against
Bangladesh, with seven of their victories coming by an innings margin,
but still they endured some anxious moments the last time they toured
the country in 2006.
The memory of the last home series gives Bangladesh some inspiration,
though skipper Mohammad Ashraful said his players have to give a much
improved show to get a positive result against the tourists. “Their
bowling is really frightening. Most of the teams have either a good pace
attack or a good spin attack, but Sri Lanka are good in both
departments,” said Ashraful.
“(Mutthia) Muralitharan took 70-odd wickets against us and the pacers
also got plenty. We must deal with them better to get a positive
result,” said Ashraful.
Bangladesh in the last two home series came close to a win against
South African and New Zealand, at least in one test match, a fact that
is also encouraging Ashraful.
“We have started playing well at home. Let see what happens, he said.
The first test will have a gap on Dec. 29 for the parliamentary
election in Bangladesh and is scheduled to end on Dec. 31. The second
test will be held in Chittagong from Jan. 3-7. The tri-nation tournament
will be held from Jan. 10-16.
Teams: Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara,
Malintha Warnapura, Michael Vandort, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne
Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardane, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan,
Rangana Herath, Dammika Prasad, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof,
Dilhara Fernando, Thilina Thushara.
Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim
Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Imrul Kayes, Roqibul Hassan, Mehrab Hossain jnr,
Shakib Al Hasan, Rajin Saleh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shahadat Hossain, Enamul
Haque jnr, Mahbubul Alam, Sajedul Islam.
DHAKA, Thursday Reuters