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Sri Lanka achieves highest ever total in Dambulla

Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 17:59 [IST]
 
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Sri Lanka scores record 312/4

Dambulla: Sri Lanka batting line up put up a mammoth total of 312 for the loss of four wickets against Bangladesh in their second match against Bangladesh in Dambulla, posting a record highest ever total achieved by any team in Dambulla in the process.

Prior to this innings no team had managed to score over 300 run mark in Dambulla.

The whole batting order made solid contributions to help Sri Lanka post the record score while the Bangladesh bowlers struggled to find the right and length.

Dilshan lead from the front on top of the innings with his quick-fire 71 off just 51 balls along with his opening partner Upal Tharanga who made a well compiled half century before he was dismissed.

Dilshan was dealing in boundaries and the Sri Lanka openers, largely because of Dilshan's effort raised their 50 in just 5.1 overs. Dilshan with his wonderful hand-eye coordination was simply picking the Bangladesh bowlers and hitting them out of the park.

The duo had given a solid start for Sri Lankans at a run-rate of more than 8 runs per over.

Dilshan's blistering innings came to an end with a soft dismissal, Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Dilshan who was trying to turn his bat on the left side but played a little too early scooping a easy catch to the bowler, Hasan. A much required breakthrough from the Bangladesh point of view.

Dilshan was eventually out after scoring 71 runs off just 51 balls with 11 fours and 1 six in his innings.

The Bangladesh bowlers managed to bring the run-rate down as the new batsmen Sangakarra naturally took time to settle in.

Meanwhile, Opener Tharanga who started well with Dilshan, was batting well, sensibly picking up singles and rotating the strike, keeping the Sri Lankan scorecard ticking. He reached his 50 off 63 balls, a crafty 50 where he hit the bad balls for boundaries and dealth the good balls with singles and twos.

Tharanga was finally dismissed for 54 off the bowling of Mushfiqur Rahim, out caught behind as he was trying to flick the spinner past the keeper.

Mahela Jayawardene, the man in form joined skipper Sangakarra in the crease and looked in good touch. He was striking at more than run-a-ball pace and put up a good partnership with Sangakarra who looked solid at the other end.

The partnership helped to reach the 200 run mark and was cruising along nice when Jayawardene was dismissed by Shafiul Islam, caught by Shakib Al Hasan.

Jayawardene scored 43 of 35 with 6 fours in his brisk innings. Sri Lanka were placed at 224 for the loss of 3 wickets in 37.2 overs after Jayawardene's wicket.

Sangakarra continued to consolidate on Sri Lanka's good opening platform and soon reached his half century of 62 balls. However, he was dismissed as soon as he reached his half century. He got out reaching out for a wide ball by Shafiul Islam, caught out by Shakib Al Hasan once again.

With little more than 10 overs left, all-rounder Matthews and youngster Chamara Kapugedara were in the crease and Sri Lanka at that stage looked well on course to post a total above 300.

However, Bangladesh bowlers kept it tight towards the end. They didn't allow even a single boundary for 5 overs. The Sri Lankan batsmen were picking up singles and twos in the process.

But the youngsters Kapugedara and Matthews, put up a good partnership of 50 at a run-a-ball pace, launching big sixes towards the end of the innings. Kapugedara hit 2 sixes and timed the ball well to take Sri Lanka to record 300 run mark.

Kapugedara finished 37 not out off 30 balls and Matthews finished 42 not out off 40 balls.

Earlier, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakarra had won the toss and elected to bat first for Sri Lanka.

Brief overview

Defending champions Sri Lanka will be looking out for a victory and a place in the finals of the Asia cup.

The Sri lankans successfully defeated Pakistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup by 16 runs and would be hoping to crush the Bangladesh side and be the first team to qualify for the finals to be held on June 24th.

On the other hand Bangladesh will be on lookout for their first victory after losing their first match against India by six-wickets. Its a do-or-die contest for the Tigers as a loss would mean they are likely to be out of contention for the finals.

Given the conditions, current form of both the teams, it looks like a cake-walk for the hosts. Jayawardene has been in excellent form in the batting line-up and Malinga has been lethal in their bowling line up and they will surely be high on confidence facing the Tigers.

On the other side, Bangladesh would seriously hoping their batting clicks and the likes of Tanim Iqbal and the rest of the batting come good when they clash against the Lankans.

Shakib Al Hasan was happy with the openers but was livid with the middle order batting which failed to apply themselfs during their defeat against India.
The Bangladesh batsmen will surely face a tough test facing the likes of Lasith Malinga and veteran Muttiah Muralitharan.

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