Jan 302014

Spin bowler Dilruwan Perera completed a maiden Test five-wicket haul, as Sri Lanka romped to a resounding innings and 248-run victory shortly after lunch on day four of the series opener at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Thursday.

Smarting in the wake of the tourists’ huge first innings total of 730 for six declared on the back of the veteran Mahela Jayawardene’s outstanding double century, Bangladesh boasted desperate hope regardless.

That ambition, however, was quickly quashed. Resuming on 35 for one, the hosts slumped to a mere 250 all out – which would have read considerably less had tail-enders Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain not put on a defiant 52-run alliance for the final wicket.

Seamer Suranga Lakmal justified plenty of promised, securing figures of three for 39 – and Perera snared career-best figures of five for 109. The opposition order, indeed, crumbled on cue – and only half-centurion Mominul Haque was able to challenge the inevitable.

The wickets of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who both scored first-innings half-tons, were particularly important. Perera display maturity and guile beyond his modest Test experience to dismiss the key duo.

The result certainly added credibility to world cricket’s push for a two-tier Test system, which would largely eradicate one-sided fixtures, particularly on the sub-continent.

The second and final Test will get underway at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Tuesday. Two Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs will follow.

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