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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Sri Lanka too good for Bangladesh
Champions Trophy qualifying round, Mohali: Sri Lanka 302-8 (50 overs) bt Bangladesh 265-9 (50 overs) by 37 runs

Upul Tharanga celebrates his century
Tharanga picked the gaps and put away the bad balls well
Upul Tharanga hit 105 as Sri Lanka took a big step towards qualifying for the main stage of the Champions Trophy by seeing off Bangladesh by 37 runs.

The opener hit 11 fours and a six to help his side post 302-8, with Mohammad Rafique (1-37) the most tidy bowler.

Farveez Maharoof (3-47) had Aftab Ahmed (33) and Habibul Bashar caught in three balls to reduce the Tigers to 78-4.

Saqibul Hasan hit a brave 67 - his first ODI fifty - but they finished on 265-9 and face a tall order to qualify.

Their best chance of success lay in their seamers' ability to take early wickets on a Mohali pitch which offered assistance to quicker bowlers.

Only Mashrafa Mortaza had the pace to do that and once Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya (31) negotiated his opening spell the runs started to flow, particular in the point and cover regions.

Farveez Maharoof (right) and his team-mates celebrate the wicket of Habibul Bashar
Maharoof (right) rocked Bangladesh with his two quick wickets

It was a shock when Syed Rasel trapped Jayasuriya lbw but Tharanga continued to play with real authority to record his fifth one-day international century - and fourth this year - off 122 balls.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene (35) also tucked into the bowling, top-edging Farhad Reza for six and crashing three other boundaries in the same over.

After he fetched Abdur Razzak from outside off-stump straight into Aftab's hands at mid-wicket, Razzak and Rafique's spin exercised some control.

Marvan Atapattu, returning after long-term back problems, broke off the shackles with seven boundaries in his 40 and looked in good nick before perishing in the late dash for runs.

In a frenzied finish, which saw 28 come in the last two overs, Muttiah Muralitharan was run out in comical circumstances after battering Mortaza over his head for a mighty six.

We've got a few kinks to iron out but hopefully we'll look better in the second game

Kumar Sangakkara

Once Sangakkara had taken a fine diving catch to remove Shahriar Nafees and pouched a leg-side chance from Mohammad Ashraful it soon became clear that Bangladesh were unlikely to get close.

Aftab attempted to lead a riposte by launching Dilhara Fernando to long-leg for six and lacing him over mid-on but he too was caught behind and skipper Bashar - the Tigers' main hope - guided the ball into opposite number Jayawardene's hands.

Reza was undaunted and blasted a six and three fours of Maharoof before a charge at Muralitharan resulted in an easy stumping chance.

Good work from Jayawardene from forward point ran out Khaled Mashud and Rafique holed out to wide long-on off Jayasuriya.

With the pressure off, teenager Hasan nudged the ball around cleverly to complete his fifty off 96 balls and Mortaza and Razzaq freed their arms to play some shots - but the game had been up long before.

SEE ALSO
Champions Trophy team guide
05 Oct 06 |  Cricket
Squad lists for Champions Trophy
05 Oct 06 |  Cricket
Champions Trophy story in photos
04 Oct 06 |  Cricket
Champions Trophy ground guides
04 Oct 06 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2006
25 Sep 06 |  Cricket


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