Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Resolute Bangladesh extend Colombo Test

Bangladeshi batsmen have put a gritty effort to extend first Test beyond third day at SSC ground in Colombo today. Bangladesh ended the day at 233-5 and still trailing by 255 runs with 5 wickets remaining in the second innings.

After fighting hard throughout the day, Bangladesh have blown the advantage away when some lapse of concentration resulted in the downfall of Saleh and Ashraful, and Bangladesh slumped to 231-5 from a commanding 227-3.

Javed Omar led Bangladesh’s resistance in Colombo

Javed Omar led Bangladesh's resistance in Colombo © Cricinfo

All Bangladeshi batsmen got start but none of them were able to capitalize on it to produce a much needed big score. Veteran opener Javed Omar and stocky Rajin Saleh showed promise to play a long innings but could only manage half-centuries before returning to the pavilion. Javed was undone by a reverse swing toe crusher from slingy Lasith Malinga while Rajin offered a slip catching practice off Tilakaratne Dilshan.

Javed Omar was the top scorer for Bangladesh with 62 runs while Rajin Saleh struck a sedate 51 to deny Sri Lankans in the first two sessions of the day.

Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh’s newly appointed captain, again missed out the opportunity to stamp his authority by throwing his wicket away after making a determined 37. Muralitharan, who found wickets were far more precious to come by compared to first innings, gleefully accepted the gift from Ashraful in the penultimate over of the day.

Bangladesh have to bat extraordinarily well to avert the imminent innings defeat but weather might play its own part in deciding the fate of the Test match.

A no-contest in Colombo

A battered and bruised Bangladesh managed to see off the last 3 overs of the day but could not escape humiliation in day two of the first Test in Colombo today. An innings defeat is looming as Bangladesh are trailing by 485 runs with 10 wickets remaining in the second innings at stumps.
Vaas en route to his maiden Test century after 92 Tests

Vaas en route to his maiden Test century after 92 Tests © Cricinfo

Bangladesh managed to show some promise in the first session of the days play as they picked three wickets and reduced Sri Lanka from 304-3 to 354-6, but an unbroken 223 run partnership between Prasanna Jayawardane and Chaminda Vaas left Bangladesh bleeding in the Sri Lankan capital. Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful used eight bowlers to break the partnership which only saw a futile end.

Both Jayawardne and Vaas have registered their maiden Test century, and Sri Lanka eventually declared at 577 for 6 taking a mammoth 488 run lead in the first innings.

A dead track and a showery weather forecast won't be enough to prevent complete mortification in the Test match unless Bangladeshi batsmen learn the patience and grittiness displayed by their Sri Lankan counterpart.

Bangladeshi batsmen have to come out of their reputation to deny Sri Lankan bowlers who have got the ability to inject life on the comatose pitch of Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

Sri Lanka toy with Bangladesh to stamp authority in Colombo

Bangladesh experienced yet another forgettable day of Test cricket in the first day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka at SSC ground in Colombo today.

After rattling Bangladesh to a paltry 89 within 33 overs, Sri Lanka finished the day with 227 for the loss of 3 wickets and are leading by 137 runs with 7 wickets remaining in the first innings.

Bangladesh had no answer to Murali magic

Bangladesh had no answer to Murali magic © Cricinfo

Bangladesh, put into bat by Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardane, failed to show any kind of temperament or resistance against Lankan bowlers. Poor shot making, lack of footwork and poor technique all contributed to Bangladesh's misery and none of the batsmen showed enough guts to take the challenge to the opposition.

Spin wizard Muttiah Muraliatharan was the wrecker-in-chief for the Lankans and took 5 wickets for 15 runs to dismantle the fragile Bangladeshi batting line up. Dilhara Fernando joined the party and picked 3 wickets for 33 runs.

Bangladesh created some false sense of competitiveness in the Sri Lankan innings when Shahadat Hossain picked two quick wickets and reduced Sri Lanka to 14-2. Sri Lanka took no time to bounce back and finished the day with full authority over the Test match.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardane top scored with 93 before retiring due to a calf strain while opener Michael Vandort is 13 short of a well deserved century at the end of the first day.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Bangladesh opt for experience in Colombo Test

Bangladesh team management has kept their belief on struggling wicket keeper Khaled Mashud despite his poor show in the only practice match and named him in the playing XI for the first Test in Colombo. Bangladesh have left out Mehrab Hossain Jr., Syed Rasel, Mohammad Sharif and Mushfiqur Rahim from the 15 man squad.

Bangladesh pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza regained his

 Ashraful's innings as Bangladesh Captain will start tomorrow in Colombo Test

Ashraful's innings as Bangladesh Captain will start tomorrow in Colombo Test © Cricinfo

fitness ahead of the first Test which will start at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo tomorrow. However concern remained over the fitness of opening batsman Javed Omar who is suffering from viral fever.

Bangladesh named Mehrab Hossain Jr. as his backup and he will make his Test debut if Javed fails to recover in time. "Javed has been suffering from fever since the last day of the three-day warm up game against Sri Lanka A. He did not train yesterday (Saturday) but is expected to practice today. We will decide whether he would play or not after the practice session," said the newly appointed selector Akram Khan who is in Colombo for the Test series.

"If Javed is unable to play then Mehrab would come in and open the batting," he added.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardane promised a professional display against the touring side in their first home Test in 12 months. Sri Lanka have named 12 man squad for leaving out Malinga Bandara and Sujeewa De Silva from the 14 member squad.

Bangladesh (from): Shahriar Nafees Ahmed, Javed Omer, Rajin Saleh, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Khaled Mashud (Wicketkeeper), Mohammed Rafique, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (Vice-Captain), Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain Rajib.12th man - Mehrab Hossain (Jr.)

Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando, Farveez Maharoof

Friday, 15 June 2007

"Bangladesh will do better in Sri Lanka" - Ashraful

Bangladesh's newly appointed captain Mohammad Ashraful believes Bangladesh will start performing in the test arena from starting with the upcoming Sri Lanka series. According to Ashraful, Bangladesh will perform much better compared to their last outing in Sri Lanka in 2005, which was dubbed as the worst test series played by Bangladesh.

After returning to the test arena after a 13 months break, Bangladesh managed to draw one test and lost the other in the recently concluded two match test series against India.

Bangladesh enter into Ashraful era through Sri Lanka tour

Bangladesh enter into Ashraful era through Sri Lanka tour © Cricinfo

Ashraful, in his first assignment as a captain, wants to work hard to extend each test match to five days with some good batting display.

"My personal team target is to play throughout the five days in all the three tests. We have emphasized on our batting in the practice sessions. All of us have batted for a long time in the nets and the centre wicket. We have been playing good cricket in the ODIs for the last 12-13 months. That is why there is more confidence is the team," said a confident looking Ashraful during the final press briefing before leaving for Colombo.

Despite suffering heavy defeats against the islanders on all previous occasions, the Bangladesh captain is confident of putting up a good fight against Sri Lanka in the away series.

Most teams have struggled there in recent times. We toured Sri Lanka four times but could not play well. But this time I see more self-confidence in every player. Also we have plenty of international experience. That gives me reasons to feel optimistic about this series," said Ashraful.

Ashraful was critical about the form of the top order batsmen in recent times, but remains hopeful that they will learn from their mistakes.

"We did not play well against India in the tests. But after that we practiced a lot in the nets. Our batsmen have a problem with ball selection. We have been working on this for the last seven days. We hope that we will not repeat the same mistakes in the upcoming series."

He was also keen to utilise the three-day warm up match before the test series to acclimatize to Sri Lankan conditions.

"We have a three-day match prior to the test series. We will try to gain more confidence by putting up a good show in that match. We will probably go into that game with the best squad we have."

Most of the Bangladesh?s current crop of players came through age-group cricket and Ashraful, the youngest test captain of Bangladesh, is optimistic that the team spirit of the young Tigers will help each other to lift their game.

"There are a number of players in our team who have been playing together from the under-13, 17, 19 levels. We have also played with the senior players for the last five-six years in the national team. So there is a very good understanding between us. I think it is a plus point for our team".

Bangladesh leave for Sri Lanka on June 17, and the three match test series will kick off on June 25 with first test to be played in Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Sri Lanka announce Test and ODI squads

Cricket Sri Lanka have declared the squads for the three match Test and ODI series against Bangladesh later this month. Left handed opening batsman Malinda Warnapura, who had a successful stint with Sri Lanka A team, is the only new face in the Test squad.

Sri Lankan selectors rested ace opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya for the series and recalled former captain Marvan Atapattu and leg spinner Upul Chandana after almost two years.

Marvan Atapattu recalled in the Test squad after a break of 18 months

Marvan Atapattu recalled in the Test squad after a break of 18 months © Cricinfo

Left arm seamer Sujeewa De Silva, who had a very successful series against Bangladesh in 2002, has been recalled to the Test squad.

Sri Lanka A team captain Jehan Mubarak is named in the ODI squad along with Chamara Kapugedera who missed out his place in the Test squad.

Mahela Jayawardane, who recently led Asia XI in the Afro-Asia cup, will lead both the sides and Kumar Sangakkara will act as his deputy.

Sri Lankan selectors have opted for a full strength team ending speculations about testing young and promising players in the home series against Bangladesh. The tour will kick off with a three day warm up match on 20th June at Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo. The first Test of the series will start on 25th June at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground also in the Sri Lankan capital.

Sri Lanka Test squad: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Upul Tharanga, Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Malinga Bandara, Malinda Warnapura, Sujeewa de Silva.

Sri Lanka ODI squad: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Farveez Maharoof, Upul Chandana, Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Kapugedera, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Kulasekera.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

BCB Propose Major Reforms in National Cricket League

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have proposed some major reforms in the domestic first class competition to make it more competitive and effective to raise the standard of longer version cricket in Bangladesh.

According to new proposal, Bangladesh’s first class cricket is going to be open again for the foreign recruits after a break of 4 years. From next years National Cricket League (NCL), each first class team can register two foreign players with first class experience and can field one of them in a match.

To develop the skill of the Bangladeshi batsmen against pace bowlers, BCB will only allow pace bowlers with foreign origin to be registered as a test case for next years NCL.

Match fee for the players is another significant addition for the upcoming edition of the NCL, and BCB have decided to double the daily remuneration in a bid to provide financial security to the first class cricketers.

According to BCB sources, cricket board is trying to persuade some major banks and financial institutions to sponsor each divisional side in the competition.

Meanwhile, BCB arranged an award giving ceremony for the recently completed 8th National Cricket League. National discard Alok Kapali bagged the prestigious best all-rounder prize and Rakibul Hasan, who scored a record triple century in his debut season, was awarded as the emerging player of the year.

Other awards,

First-Class champions: Dhaka

First-Class Runners up: Rajshahi

One-day champions: Dhaka

One-day Runners up: Rajshahi

Highest Wicket-taker (First Class): Shabbir Khan, Chittagong (54 wickets)

Highest Wicket-taker (One-day): Ariful Haq, Barisal (eight wickets)

Highest Run Scorer (First Class): Gazi Salahuddin, Chittagong (791 runs)

Highest Run Scorer (One-day): Dhiman Ghosh, Chittagong (324 runs)

Best All-rounder: Alok Kapali, Sylhet (First Class: 744 runs & 44 wickets; One-day: 294 runs & 7 wickets)

Best Emerging Player: Rakibul Hasan, Barisal (First Class: 499 runs; One-day: 267 runs).

Tigers start training for Sri Lanka tour

Bangladesh, under new captain Mohammad Ashraful, are getting prepared for the upcoming Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka. The training camp of the Tigers are starting today (Thursday) at Mirpur Sher E Bangla Stadium with Shaun Williams as the interim coach for the tour.

Sarwar Imran, pace bowling coach of Bangladesh Cricket Academy, will act as the deputy of Shaun and Mohammad Salahuddin will remain in charge of the fielding department.

Mohammad Rafique and Mashrafe Mortaza, who are playing for the Asia XI in the Afro-Asia cup, are likely to miss the week long camp.

Bangladesh will leave Dhaka on 17th June for the Sri Lankan capital, and the only 3-day warm up match before the Test series will start on 20th June.

Bangladesh announce Test squad for Sri Lanka tour

The newly revised selection panel of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced the 15 member Test squad for the upcoming 3 match Test series against Sri Lanka.

Selectors recalled Left arm spinner Abdur Razzak and young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim to the squad.

Bangladesh recall Mushfiqur Rahim in Test squad

Bangladesh recall Mushfiqur Rahim in Test squad © Cricinfo

Tushar Imran and Enamul Haque Jr., who played in the recently concluded series against India, have been left out.

Habibul Bashar, former skipper of Bangladesh, has retained his place as a batsman in the Test squad.

The three match Test series will kick off on 25th June in Colombo.

Test squad

Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Masharafe Mortaza (vice captain), Habibul Bashar, Javed Omar, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Shahriar Nafees, Rajin Saleh, Saqibul Hasan, Khaled Mashud, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Sharif, Mushfiqur Rahim.

Aftab Ahmed, Tamim Iqbal, Tushar Imran, Farhad Reza and uncapped off spinner Mahmudullah Riyad will join the squad before the start of the one-day series.

However, the squad for the ODI series will be announced at the end of the Test series.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Mohammad Ashraful appointed as Bangladesh captain, Mortaza deputy

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have appointed Bangladesh middle order batsman Mohammad Ashraful as captain for both Test and ODI team till the end of the Twenty20 world cup in September. Pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza has been named as the deputy of Ashraful in both forms of the game.

With this appointment, Ashraful replaces Habibul Bashar, who recently stepped down as ODI captain, but was willing to continue as Test captain. Bashar was the most successful captain of Bangladesh history, and led Bangladesh in 29 ODI wins and the solitary Test win.

Ashraful in his instant reaction paid tribute to outgoing captain Bashar and promised to lead the team with examples.

"I must say Bashar was the most successful captain of the country. His ability to lead the team both on and off the field with calmness along with coach Dav Whatmore has set a standard for the team, so I have to continue it. It's a big challenge but I am ready for it," said Ashraful, who so far has played 35 Tests and 101 one-day internationals for Bangladesh.

Ashraful’s first assignment will be to lead the team in Sri Lanka, where he made his Test debut, for a three match Test series and equal number of ODIs.

Meanwhile Bangladesh have appointed Shaun Williams, current Bangladesh A team coach, as the interim coach for Sri Lanka tour. Former Bangladesh coach Sarwar Imran will act as the deputy of Williams for the test and ODI series.