Rains pose threat to first Lanka-Bangla Test

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

More images
Colombo:Uncertain weather remains Sri Lanka's main concern as they attempt to extend their supremacy over Bangladesh in a three-Test series starting here on Monday.

Sudden heavy showers, common for the region at this time of the year, have hampered preparations for the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) and more rain has been forecast for the entire week.

While the teams have often had to practise indoors over the last few days, Bangladesh's three-day tour match against Sri Lanka 'A' saw just 140 overs bowled due to bad weather.

"There is little one can do about the weather but we should get enough play because the ground dries up very fast," said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene.

Bangladesh will need more than just rain to keep the Sri Lankans at bay after suffering heavy defeats in quick time in all of their previous seven Tests against the islanders.

Four of those Tests ended in under three days and the remaining three early on the fourth morning as the Sri Lankan bowling attack, led by Muttiah Muralitharan, blew the hapless Bangladeshis away.

The prolific off-spinner, whose career haul of 674 includes 50 wickets in just six matches against Bangladesh, is 35 scalps away from surpassing retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne's world-record tally of 708.

Bangladesh, led for the first time by 22-year-old batsman Mohammad Ashraful, face a daunting task against a side that have proved almost unbeatable at home over the last few years.

Sri Lanka have won seven of their last 10 home Tests, with two draws and just one loss against Pakistan.

Bangladesh, who made their maiden appearance in the second round of the limited-overs World Cup in the Caribbean early this year, are still finding their feet in traditional five-day Test cricket.

They have lost 40 of their 46 matches since gaining the Test status in 2000, with five draws and a lone victory against a struggling Zimbabwe in 2005.

Both teams will be without regular coaches after Sri Lanka's Tom Moody returned home to Western Australia in May and Dav Whatmore quit Bangladesh at the same time.

Trevor Penney, who was Moody's assistant, will look after Sri Lanka till newly-appointed Australian Trevor Bayliss takes charge in August.

Bangladesh are being temporarily supervised by another Australian, Shaun Williams, who is director of the country's junior cricket.

Both teams will name their playing elevens before the toss on Monday.


Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Habibul Bashar, Javed Omer, Mehrab Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Rajin Saleh, Shakib Al Hasan, Khaled Mashud (wk), Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Mohammed Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Sharif and Mushfiqur Rahim (standby wk).

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Michael Vandort, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (standby wk), Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Malinga Bandara, Malinda Warnapura and Sujeewa de Silva.


Write Comments