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Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
Trinidad, 21 March 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

WORLD CUP, GROUP B, TRINIDAD: Sri Lanka 318-4 (50 overs) v Bangladesh 113 (36 overs)

Sri Lanka took command of Group B with a commanding 198-run victory over Bangladesh under the D/L method.

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya blasted a dazzling 24th one-day ton with seven sixes in 109, having earlier retired hurt due to cramp after a quick single.

He resumed on 83 and passed 100 with consecutive sixes, Kumar Sangakkara and Chamara Silva adding fluent fifties.

In search of a distant 319 for victory, Bangladesh slipped to 41-5 inside 17 overs and were bowled out for 113.



Text us on 84040, email or contribute to 606

By Mark Mitchener


2112: It's all over - the pressure is now all on India for Friday's group game against Sri Lanka - as they know that anything less than a win may let Bangladesh in to qualify ahead of them.

I haven't forgotten that said I'd choose the best "superhero" e-mail. Runner-up is Amy White (Billy Bowden as Inspector Gadget with go go gadget arms), but my personal favourite was one of the first batch, from Adrian Pannell (Mike Gatting as Captain Chaos from the Cannonball Run). Many thanks to those of you who've been following this clockwatch - it's thank you and good night from me.

Wicket falls
Our for a duck
37th over: WICKET - Rasel run out 0 - BAN 113 all out
The boy Ashraful may have to try to farm the strike for 14 overs if Bangladesh are to bat out the game. Murali's back for his ninth over, and most of the field is back to entice Ashraful to take a single, although he nearly gets himself out with a failed reverse sweep. He then attempts a quick single to pinch the strike, and the third umpire has to rule whether Rasel failed to make his ground at the striker's end. It's a tight one - but he's given out and it's all over. Rasel run out for a duck, Bangladesh all out 113, and Sri Lanka win by 198 runs (don't forget that revised target of 311 under D/L).

"Thanks for bringing the game live to us with your ever so brilliant text commentary. Sri Lanka v India will be one heck of a game with a lot at stake for both teams, but I am sorry to say that I cannot see Bangladesh progressing to the Super 8s. I dearly hope Sri Lanka drop Arnold for the next game, as against India they cannot afford to have any loose cannons in the team."
Safraz Iqbal in the TMS inbox

He may be a loose cannon, Safraz, but he's a dab hand (pun unintended) with that white towel.

Wicket falls
Our for a duck
36th over: WICKET - Razzak c Sangakkara b Malinga 0 - BAN 111-9
Malinga returns as Sri Lanka look to wrap it up, but he strays down the leg side and Ashraful (back in his helmet) flicks it off his legs for four. He then gets an inside edge to a ball outside off stump, and it sails to the same fine-leg boundary. Malinga needs to be careful not to get his hair caught in his eyebrow ring. But after Ashraful takes a leg-bye, Malinga then has Razzak caught behind. 111-9, Nelson has struck again and last man Rasel's lucky to survive his first ball.

Wicket falls
35th over: WICKET - Rafique c Maharoof b Dilshan 7 - BAN 102-8
Ashraful brings up the hundred with a delicate dab over backward point. Rafique then tries to hit the ball out of the ground but skies Dilshan to Maharoof, who takes the catch on the backward square leg boundary, despite colliding with Muralitharan as he completes the catch. One left-arm spinner replaces another for Bangladesh as Abdur Razzak replaces Rafique.

34th over: 98-7
Bangladesh are now closing in on the slender respectability which will come when they reach three figures. Arnold bowls a loose one outside off-stump and Ashraful delightedly cuts to third man for four, despite tumbling over as he completes the shot. Arnold's towel gets another good rub. Another better over for the Tigers, and Ashraful's batting is grrrreat.

33rd over: 92-7
Off-spinner Dilshan takes the new ball - so to speak - and top scorer Ashraful takes a couple of carefully calculated singles to move to 28. Meanwhile, it's still chucking down with rain at the Pakistan-Zimbabwe game. I thought these games were being played in the Caribbean?!

32nd over: 88-7
Arnold dries the ball with another of those gleaming white towels (as carried by the Sri Lanka physio's mate) and gives it a bit of flight. With the spinners on, Ashraful discards his helmet for a smart green and red cap. He and Rafique add four more to the total, and the umpires hold a mini-conference where they decide to change the ball.

"After Vaas, Malinga, Maharoof and Muralitharan, the fifth bowler for Sri Lanka is really a combination of Dilshan, Jayasuriya and Arnold - so if Jayasuriya's injured it rather limits their options."
Ex-Windies paceman Ian Bishop on TMS

31st over: 84-7
Jayawardene keeps two more Murali overs up his sleeve, and turns to Tillakaratne Dilshan's off-spin, which yields four singles.

Wicket falls
30th over: WICKET - Mortaza c Tharanga b Arnold 7 - BAN 80-7Arnold to continue, and he's lofted over long-on by Mortaza for six, and the ball is retrieved by a Tiger Woods lookalike on the ground staff. He then attempts the same shot with much less success, and Tharanga takes the catch at short third man. Left-hander and senior pro Rafique - batting at eight but who has made a Test hundred - is the new batsman.

29th over: 73-6
Muralitharan to continue, and Ashraful - who looks more than competent enough to bat higher up for this team than number seven - takes a single to Tharanga at long-on. Arnold summons a helmet to field close in to Mortaza at bat-pad. We also have news of a reduced target - 311 is now needed off a maximum of 46 overs.

28th over (last ball): 72-6
Jayasuriya, in fact, is off the field, presumably for more treatment. Russel Arnold steps into the breach to bowl the one ball that will finish his over. It's a dot ball.

2027: They're back on. A delay of just under half-an-hour, and we've got one more ball of Jayasuriya's over to Mortaza to complete. The players are ready, but we're waiting for television to return.

2022: The covers are off, the stumps are back on and we could be starting again soon once they've soaked up a bit of moisture.

2017: Seeing as Jayasuriya still has one delivery left of his over (if and when we resume), I'm reminded of the last time I saw him bowl so tightly. I was in Australia over Christmas and New Year (you remember? When England were still rubbish?) - and in Sydney on New Year's Eve. Getting ready for the evening's festivities, I caught the end of an ODI between New Zealand v Sri Lanka on the telly.

James Franklin had taken NZ to the brink of victory with 45 not out, and they needed just a single off the final over to win, with last man Michael Mason facing. Murali, Vaas and Malinga had all bowled their 10 overs - so Jayasuriya was thrown the ball.

Incredibly, with the scores level, he sent down five dot balls and almost earned his side an unlikely tied game, until Mason swiped a four off the final ball of the innings. It was one of the most astonishing finishes to a game I've ever seen. Here's our report on that game:

And while I've been telling you this, they're starting to take the covers off.

2007: No let-up in the rain in Port of Spain I'm afraid. The TMS team have even found some WD40 for their squeaky commentary box door.

"If Sri Lanka play like they are playing right now, India could be out of this World Cup early. I do hope Sri Lanka win against India. I think it might be best for Bangladesh now to just play safe for ones and twos and at least get to score 100 in doing so"
Sadia Anjum, NJ [New Jersey?], in the TMS inbox

Rain delay
RAIN STOPS PLAY (27.5 overs) - BAN 72-6
Ground staff are primed and ready to bring on the covers. But we're still going, Jayasuriya spears it in towards Mortaza for five dot balls - before the umpires take them off. On come the small yellow tarp (to cover the pitch) and the big blue ones (for the rest of the square).

27th over: 72-6
Murali sends down his seventh over, and Ashraful lofts him through extra cover for four. Rain is in the air, but Bangladesh are still facing a heavy defeat, even if Vera Duckworth and Sergeant Lewis are called in to officiate.

"Oh times have changed... a few nights ago as Bangladesh put India to the sword, the Dhaka night rang to whoops of delight. Tonight a deathly hush has fallen over thye capital of Bangladesh. But we'll be there in the Super 8s!"
Graham from Banani, Dhaka in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
26th over: WICKET - Bashar run out 18 - BAN 68-6
...I spoke too soon. Fifth bowler Jayasuriya (bare-headed) comes on with his slow left-arm "darts" as I believe they're popularly known. Ashraful pushes a quick single, Captain Bashar runs to the danger end, there's a direct hit from Jayawardene at short fine leg and he's well short. The umpire refers up to the third umpire, but there's really no need... and the Tigers have lost a needless wicket, just when it looked as if they had half a chance of batting out the overs. Paceman Mortaza is the new batsman, and he's immediately off the mark with a single.

25th over: 66-5
Murali reverts to bowling over the wicket, presumably hurt after that failed lbw appeal in the last over. Bashar safely lifts him over the infield to long-off but just takes a single. We're half-way through the innings, and no fifth bowler used by Sri Lanka yet...

24th over: 64-5
Maharoof takes a rest, and it's The Slinger back into the attack. Ashraful calmly swats one through the vacant third man area for four. Malinga then overpitches one which is handsomely cover-driven for four by Ashraful. A definite "shot of the day" contender - almost like a right-handed David Gower.

23rd over: 56-5
Murali, whose run-up seems to get longer as the years go by, concedes just two singles and tweaks one which mesmerises Bashar outside the off stump. He also has another strong leg-before appeal turned down, and exchanges a few words with the umpire.

22nd over: 54-5
Maharoof in for his seventh over, and Ashraful skies one over the infield which floats safely to third man. The consensus in the TMS box is that while Bangladesh can not win this match, they need to survive for as many overs as possible to limit the damage to their net run-rate - and then beat Bermuda.

Another superhero nomination (and I'll be choosing my favourite before the end of play):

  • "Glenn McGrath has the look of Jar Jar Binks whenever an umpire has the sheer audacity to not give in to one of his vociferous appeals" (Damian from Luton - home of the Mighty Monty)

    21st over: 50-5
    A rapid Murali over sees just one single from Ashraful added to the score.

    20th over: 49-5
    Silva is congratulated by his team-mates for a heroic Jonty Rhodeseque stop in the covers, but Bashar then flays Maharoof for a four past point. At the same stage in their innings, Sri Lanka were 122-1.

    19th over: 43-5
    Murali comes round the wicket to Bashar and raps him on the pad with the first ball, although it pitched outside leg. Just another single added from this over, Sri Lanka totally in command of the match. One more over before the fielding restrictions end.

    "Muralitharan is like a magician, none of the Bangladesh batsman have been able to read him at all"
    Ranjit Fernando on TMS

    18th over: 42-5
    Maharoof sends down five dot balls against Bashar, who will be happy just to stem the tide of wickets. He takes a single off the final delivery to farm the strike.

    Wicket falls
    17th over: WICKET - Hasan b Muralitharan 4 - BAN 41-5
    Bashar and Hasan take a couple of singles off Muralitharan - who then bowls Hasan with a peach of a delivery that flies between bat and pad. Bangladesh a mere 278 runs behind at this stage. Mohammad Ashraful, the "Boundary Fox" from the Sri Lankan innings (see entry for 46th and 20th overs) is the new batsman.

    16th over: 39-4
    The third powerplay is predictably taken. Maharoof oversteps and bowls a no-ball, which Hasan works onto the leg side. Bashar then pulls a loose one to the square leg boundary for his first four. Bangladesh's best over for a while.

    "What do you reckon the chances are of Jayasuriya getting a bowl? He's got me masses of points for his century and a couple for a catch, a wicket or two would cheer me up no end as I'm in the library slaving through an essay and have been since 10 this morning"
    Jamie Nazareth, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

    I'd say he has a good chance of turning his arm over, Jamie. But sadly I doubt he'll wear a fez or sombrero to do it (see earlier).

    15th over: 31-4
    Here comes Murali - the idiosyncratic spinner attempts to tease Bashar into an unwise shot, and he beats the Tigers captain's outside edge a couple of times. A wide is the only blemish on what would otherwise have been a maiden, and drinks are taken.

    "Do you find, when you're lying in bed at night, that you start humming that World Cup theme tune? It gets ingrained into your brain, and I'm going to be singing it for the next year"
    Arlo White on TMS

    14th over: 30-4
    Hasan gives Maharoof the charge, but doesn't time it and the ball goes harmlessly to a fielder. A couple of singles are added to the score.

    "Sri Lanka will easily wrap up this match pretty soon. The only consolation for Bangladesh is that they still have an excellent chance of making it through to the Super 8. Sri Lanka look like they're in top form and can beat the resurgent Indian team, while Bangladesh will mostly likely win against Bermuda. Good luck to Bangladesh!"
    Adil Ahmad, Seattle, in the TMS inbox

    13th over: 28-4
    Hasan edges to slip, where Jayawardene - sporting a thick Allan Donald-style block of sun cream across his nose and cheeks - dives to his left, gets both hands to it but puts the chance down. As the sun comes out, Vaas has another lbw shout against Bashar, but it was probably missing leg stump.

    Wicket falls
    12th over - WICKET - Rahim c Dilshan b Maharoof 6 - BAN 26-4
    Rahim is brilliantly caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan at backward point to give Maharoof his first wicket off the first ball of the over. Tigers in serious trouble now - and captain Habibul Bashar is the new batsman. He plays out the rest of the over before summoning Hasan for a mid-pitch conference.

    "Keep up the good job, for those of us stuck at work without audio or visuals from the game, this commentary makes it real. Quick question, is the SL wicket-keeper keeping quiet or is he on a chatter binge?"
    Thatz Sundaram, Minneapolis, USA in the TMS inbox

    Not too much chat from Sangakkara behind the timbers, Thatz. He doesn't quite measure up to Paul Nixon in that respect - although I think England would love to have a keeper who bats as well as Sanga does.

    11th over: 26-3
    Jayawardene takes the second powerplay immediately with Vaas bowling to the left-handed Hasan, who is struck on the pad with the fourth ball of the over. Vaas appeals for lbw, but umpire Davis remains unmoved. Vaas now has an incredible four maidens from six overs.

    10th over: 26-3
    Malinga takes a break with figures of 4-0-11-2 and Farveez Maharoof enters the fray. His application of sun block across his face almost makes him look like he has a huge white handlebar moustache. An ugly slash by Rahim flies over the slips for four.

    9th over: 21-3
    A third maiden over from Vaas to Rahim, who is looking to dig in if the Tigers are to have any hope of coming from behind to cause an upset.

    More cricketing superheroes for those of you who have been following since the Sri Lankan innings:

  • "Surely the obvious superhero is Freddie Flintoff as Popeye, I hope he has his spinach on Saturday. Or Andrew Strauss - The Invisible Man " (Ian Melding)
  • "Murali = Dark Lord of the Spin" (three cheers for Neil Vincent for another Star Wars reference)
  • "Glenn McGrath has the look of Bananaman about him" (Jamie Gray, Edinburgh)

    Wicket falls
    8th over: WICKET - Ahmed c Jayasuriya v Malinga 12, BAN 21-3
    Malinga, one of several Sri Lankans to have plastered his face with bright white sun block, takes another wicket when Ahmed skies to backward square leg. Jayasuriya (now wearing a cap for those of you following his headgear saga) shows no ill-effects of his injury by running up from fine leg to take a diving catch. Saqib Al Hasan is the man coming in at number five.

    "When I first started playing cricket, I was a wicket-keeper and then a leg-spinner. I didn't become a fast bowler until I was 12."
    Ex-Windies paceman Colin Croft on TMS

    7th over: 20-2
    The first loose delivery from Vaas is lifted through the leg side by Ahmed for four, and the bandana-wearer then lifts it over the infield for another four, prompting Jayawardene to move a man out there. Vaas's figures are less impressive now.

    6th over: 11-2
    Jayawardene moves his third slip to a deep gully position, but Ahmed - sporting a bandana under his helmet - lifts Malinga over the infield for two. His line then strays a little as he concedes a wide, and a single down the leg side.

    "Re: Jayasuriya's headgear: whilst comical, a sombrero would doubtless slow him down in the field. A fez could be a good option - very snazzy, an aid to catching, and also a good Tommy Cooper lookalike"
    Dan Hicks, Netherlands in the TMS inbox

    5th over: 7-2
    Vaas bowls to Aftab Ahmed, and sends down another maiden over. Bowling figures are now 3-2-1-1 for WPUJC Vaas - possibly the only man in international cricket whose initials are longer than his surname.

    Wicket falls
    4th over: WICKET - Iqbal c Sangakkara b Malinga 6, BAN 7-2
    Malinga, aka "The Slinger", kisses the ball before running in. But Tamim Iqbal cracks him through the covers for the first boundary of the innings. Looking at his biog, Tamim was born in 1989 - which makes me feel very old - but he shows his inexperience next ball by failing to move his feet and edging Malinga to keeper Sangakkara. Malinga milks the celebration, pumping both clenched fists as Iqbal walks off. Having been hit for four the previous ball, this was clearly Revenge Of La-Sith...

    3rd over: 3-1
    Another lbw shout from Vaas against Rahim as the wily left-arm swinger collects the first maiden over of the match.

    "I think that Bangladesh may get beaten really badly by the Sri Lankans. That will cause their run-rate to plummet, and they will need a mammoth win (even bigger than India's) to increase their run-rate. As of now, India and SL look good to go through"
    Aniruddha Kembhavi in the TMS inbox

    2nd over: 3-1
    It's the unmistakeable Lasith Malinga to bowl from the other end - a man who clearly goes to the same hairdresser as Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier. With his shaggy mane of (mostly) bleached-blond hair flowing behind him, he beats Rahim's outside edge, although they scamper a short single off the final ball.

    Wicket falls
    Our for a duck
    1st over: WICKET - Nafees lbw b Vaas 0, BAN 1-1
    Chaminda Vaas charges in to bowl and Tamim starts off the scoring with a single. He's partnered by Shahriar Nafees, so we've got three lefties on show at the same time again. But Nafees's day is over after Vaas traps him plumb lbw for a duck. I wish I could make the famous Australia Channel 9 duck walk across your screen, but you'll have to make do with this little fella instead. Wicket-keeper Rahim comes in at first drop, and survives his first ball as Vaas swings one back in at him.

    1801: They're back out there already. I can report that a BLT roll from the BBC tea bar has been consumed, while I also treated myself to a yoghurt. Given the choice I'm more of a cheesecake fan, but this is the BBC we're talking about.


    50th over: 318-4
    A fairly tame final over by Sri Lankan standards, as Silva finishes with 52 and Arnold scampers five off five balls. Sri Lanka have to be in the box seat here to take a big step towards the Super 8 phase. Razzak ends with bowling figues of 1-86. Ouch. That's it for the SL innings - I'm off for a sarnie, and I'll be back for the Bangladesh innings. Interval should be about half-an-hour because of the rain interruption, says Aggers.

    "I hope that some time during my time in the Caribbean, I'll get on the plane and I'll hear Captain Colin Croft's voice over the intercom. It would be an honour and a pleasure for him to fly me somewhere."
    Kevin Howells on TMS [Croft has a commercial pilot's licence]

    That's 50
    49th over: 312-4
    New batsman Russel Arnold watches from the non-striker's end as Silva swishes Mortaza over the midwicket boundary - off one leg, no less - to bring up his own half-century off 45 balls.

    "Jayasuriya's been out in the middle with bald head, donning a blue cap, and now sporting a helmet. What next? How about a sombrero? Or perhaps a fez?"
    Steve Lowther, Cheshire, in the TMS inbox

    He's reached 100
    Wicket falls
    48th over: WICKET - Jayasuriya c Bashar b Razzak 109, SL 300-4
    Another chance missed - Silva slashes Razzak to third man, but Mortaza can't quite get there as it drops in front of him. Jayasuriya then brings up his 24th ODI century in style with an enormous six over midwicket, followed by another over long-off - and he then reverse-sweeps himself into danger and is caught by Bashar for a mighty 109. He then jogs off to get some more physio treatment before he has to field.

    47th over: 285-3
    Another mammoth over as Mortaza returns to the attack. Jayasuriya reaches 96, will he make it to the ton? Here's some more superheroes:

  • "Daniel Vettori would be a good candidate for Spiderman, and Gilchrist and Ponting surely have to be Dangermouse and Penfold! And give him a cool car and Billy Bowden would be Inspector Gadget! Especially with those go go gadget arm actions!" (Amy White, London)
  • "Duncan Fletcher is doing well as the Punisher" (Dazzaraghi, Waterloo)
  • "Can't believe Gilchrist as the Green Goblin hasn't been mentioned" (Martin Hall, Cambridge)
  • "Surely a ready-made superhero would be Scotland's Ryan 'Rhino' Watson!" (Gavin, Ayrshire)
  • "Jon Lewis looks a bit like Lois Lane... think it's the big hair" (Martin Smith, Chelmsford)
  • "Dwayne Leverock would look like The Thing from the Fantastic Four if you painted him orange" (Andy "Mr Aubergine" Perkins)

    46th over: 272-3
    Razzak back to bowl the 46th (and presumably 48th & 50th) overs, and he beats Silva with one which turns sharply. Jayasuriya tries a reverse sweep and is hit on the pad, but the stony-faced Davis - who would make a good silent henchman for a Bond villain - is unmoved. Then, we have virtually a carbon copy of the events of the 20th over involving the same bowler, batsman and fielder. But this time, Ashraful is unable to prevent the ball crossing the line for six. A quick two also tests Jayasuriya's injury but he makes it back.

    Wicket falls
    45th over: WICKET - Sangakkara c Iqbal b Rasel 56, SL 263-3
    This is Rasel's last over, so by my calculations Bashar will have to have a spinner (Razzak) bowling at the death unless he has a third seamer somewhere up his sleeve. Bashar leaps to his right and gets his hand to a lofted hoick from Sangakkara, but without holding on. The very next ball, Sanga lofts it to long-on where the honest Tamim Iqbal (see 43rd over) dashes in to take the catch. Jayasuriya's back! And back in his helmet, no less!

    44th over: 258-2
    Silva advances down the track to punch Rafique through the covers for a first-bounce four to bring up the 50 stand with Sanga. Yet another drinks break is taken.

    "Unlike India's attack, Sri Lanka have enough firepower to skittle out the best of sides. We're looking at 305 methinks"
    Vinoir from London in the TMS inbox

    That's 50
    43rd over: 250-2
    Rasel has a decent lbw shout against Silva, which Hawk-Eye suggests may just have clipped the top of the bails, but he survives. Umpire Daryl Harper moves in to silence a lingering bit of "chat" between bowler and batsman. Tamim Iqbal is honest enough to signal four when his dive to the boundary sees him collide with ball and rope simultaneously, as Sangakkara reaches 50.

    42nd over: 242-2
    Rafique back for his ninth over - and Sanga'n'Silva combine for two fours and four singles.

    41st over: 242-2
    Just two runs from this over but we're into the last 10 so let the onslaught begin. Former Sussex coach Stewart Storey apparently held the theory (and this is going back 20-25 years) that you should aim to score 100 runs off the final 10 overs of a Sunday League match. In those days, that was quite a radical thought!

    40th over: 228-2
    Silva goes for gold, driving Hasan over long-off for six - the same shot as Jayawardene's dismissal, but executed better. The score briefly reaches a Richie-like 222-2, before Sangakkara threatens to demolish the scoreboard with a huge six (his first) over midwicket off Hasan's final ball to dent his figures. He finishes with 1-49 off 10 overs.

    "Over 300? That's a bit pessimistic. I predict 350-6"
    Sion Harris from Ceredigion in the TMS inbox

    39th over: 213-2
    Jayasuriya's injury is now believed to be a hamstring problem, say the TMS team. Rasel does well to keep the runs down until the fifth ball when Silva chops down to the third man boundary for his first four, and then takes a single to keep the strike.

    38th over: 207-2
    Sangakkara now the dominant partner and is playing cautiously, although Silva is finally off the mark with a single. Here's some more superheroes for you.

  • "What about Inzamam-ul-Hulk?" (Ryan Ibbotson)
  • "Is it just me or does Roger Twose from New Zealand look like Ming the Merciless? Maybe he could take on all these superheroes" (Stokel from Nottingham)
  • "Watch out for the movie of Daryl Hair's career, due for release later this year - The Umpire Strikes Back" (Mike Parkin)
  • "He's not exactly a superhero, but shave Gilchrist's head and he'd be Gollum" (William Bradley)
  • "Ian Smith isn't the only cricketer to look like the Penguin - Scott Styris is also a dead ringer for the Batman villain, if not an actual Penguin!" (Tom Delves)

    37th over: 204-2
    Rasel is back on to bowl to Chamara Silva, who replaced Jayawardene. Just a single added from this over.

    Wicket falls
    36th over: WICKET - Jayawardene c Ahmed b Hasan 46, SL 203-2
    Hasan gives it some flight, Jayawardene lofts a drive to long-off and ball-magnet Aftab Ahmed takes his second catch of the match to deny the Sri Lankan captain his half-century. Another drinks break is taken with the score one that Richie Benaud would approve of - 202-2. Sanga then adds a single.

    "Bangladesh have done reasonably well to bring down the run rate. With a bit a luck this may be a tight match, so to all those Sri Lankan fans, dont get too comfortable yet"
    Ahmed Hussain in the TMS inbox

    35th over: 200-1
    Four wides are given after Rahim misses one down the leg side. More comfortable singles and an easy-looking four by Sangakkara off Razzak, 13 off the over, and Sri Lanka must now be looking at posting a total of over 300.

    "Sri Lanka have wickets in hand, so they could start to accelerate at any time. This 50 partnership came up off just 54 balls."
    Colin Croft on TMS

    "Can we have some more of the 'Big Green Monster' votes please! They're good fun!"
    Mark, doing an essay in Swansea, in the TMS inbox

    34th over: 187-1
    Jayawardene and Sangakkara are now taking singles practically at will. Sanga is rapped on the pad while attempting to sweep, but is correctly given "not out".

    33rd over: 182-1
    They're racing through these overs. Surely with all these spinners off short run-ups they can't be at any risk of an over-rate fine? Three more runs added.

    32nd over: 179-1
    Hasan still on for his sixth over, and there's some better running this over. Bangladesh badly need a wicket.

    More superheroes:

  • "Not so much of a superhero, but Ian Smith from the TMS commentary team reminds me a little bit of The Penguin - sorry Ian! If that Beige Brigade lycra catsuit the NZ fans wear isn't ideal for a superhero costume, I don't know what is!" (Michael Gale)
  • "Freddie is Lagerman" (Dave Edwards)
  • "Deadly Derek Underwood and Wallace (from Wallace and Gromit) - separated at birth!" (David Couchman)
  • "Maybe Freddie Flintoff could be one of the X-Men? Ex-vice-captain that is..." (Aidan Batey)
  • "Mike and myself went to university together, and all I've got is Shaun Pollock as the human torch (due to having red hair). Sorry - I'll get my pedalo" (Simon Gardner)

    31st over: 174-1
    More hesitation between the wickets after Sangakkara pushes out into the leg side. But Jayawardene hoists Razzak into the stands for another six. An appalling misfield by Ahmed, who took the superb catch earlier, lets another four through. More superheroes soon.

    30th over: 159-1
    Bangladesh appeal for a catch behind by Rahim against Jayawardene, but umpire Steve "Interesting" Davis is unmoved. The TMS team momentarily confuse him with another umpire, Peter Parker. And isn't Peter Parker otherwise known as Spiderman?

    29th over: 158-1
    Agony for Tigers captain Habibul Bashar, who drops Jayawardene at cover. He kicks the turf in frustration, and it doesn't get much better for Bangladesh as the SL pair run some overthrows off the next ball.

    28th over: 154-1
    Jayawardene leads by example, whacking a huge six over midwicket off Saqib. A profitable over for the Sri Lankans.

    27th over: 145-1
    Sangakkara takes a quick two, and the third umpire is called into action but Sanga is well in. Jaywardene also hits one in the air, but it's safe and they shuffle through for a single.

    For those of you following the Big Green Monster (the Fenway reference was deliberate, Andy), the vote is now closed. Nearly 3,000 of you voted - and more than half of you are backing India and Sri Lanka to go through. Many thanks to those of you who cast your opinion - but can Bangladesh still cause a surprise?

    26th over: 140-1
    Kumar Sangakkara joins his captain as they add three more runs off Hasan.

    "That 'drift' joke [see 23rd over] is uncharacteristically subtle for you, Mark"
    Tom Newton-Lewis, Oxford in the TMS inbox

    25th over: RETIRED HURT - Jayasuriya retired hurt 83, SL 137-1
    Jayasuriya is still wearing his cap, but watches from the non-striker's end as Jayawardene plays out five dot balls from Rafique before taking a single to third man. He's on 11. But Jayasuriya pulls up while taking that single, and the physio (accompanied as before by his towel-buddy) comes on - and Jayasuriya decides to go off. Is it just cramp, or a hamstring problem?

    1549: Under way again. Rafique continues from the Media Centre end.

    "I think 'Big Green Monster' is a bit excessive, 'green box with pie chart' is more appropriate. The only Green Monster is at Fenway Park, Boston!"
    Andy Turner from Boston, USA in the TMS inbox

    1546: The umpires are coming back out, followed by the Bangladesh fielders. Remember, Sri Lanka are 136-1 after 24 overs, with Jayasuriya 83 not out. Should be starting again soon.

    1543: You're not missing anything from the game, the players are still off for rain and the ground staff are tidying things up. Here's some more cricketing superheroes:

  • "How does 'Aravinda de Silva Surfer' suit?" (Frank McCabe)
  • "Remember the Batman & Robin episode of Only Fools and Horses? Check out Rodney as Robin, the spitting image of Phil Tufnell" (David Couchman)
  • "There was a guy in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film that used a cricket bat, although he didn't look like a cricketer - he was American for starters, probably thought it was a really big toothpick" (Nick Thrower)
  • "Monty Panesar doesn't look like a superhero, but he certainly is one! Just look at the way he leaps after taking a wicket!" (Rich from Leeds)

    1537: Don't forget to let us know what you think about the Big Green Monster (India & SL still beating SL & Bangladesh in the vote). Send us your comments to the TMS inbox.

    1535: While the covers are gradually brought off, here's the first few "cricketers as superheroes" for your delectation:

  • "There's already a planned comic for Sachin Tendulkar. He lets his bat do the talking!!" (Piyush Gupta, Birmingham)
  • "Freddie Flintoff could be Daredevil after his exploits of last week, but Dwayne Leverock is a very good resemblance to the Kingpin" (Andy in Tooting)
  • "Leverock is surely a spitting image of the Incredible Hulk is he not?" (Tim Dennis - careful, Tim, you wouldn't like him when he's angry)
  • "Mike Gatting looks like Captain Chaos from the film Cannonball Run" (Adrian Pannell)

    Keep 'em coming! More later!

    1528: Three giant blue tarps now cover the square... and are now coming off. A big early lead for "India & Sri Lanka to qualify" in the Big Green Monster vote (see 1526 entry). If you haven't already, cast your vote now! (And 5% of you are still backing Bermuda to make the Super 8 phase!).

    "Sri Lanka have been very businesslike - there was no rush of blood, and Jayasuriya has shown maturity to play a long innings rather than act as a pinch-hitter."
    Ranjit Fernando on TMS

    1526: Still raining, but hopefully you have seen a Big Green Monster box appear in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Who do you think will qualify from Group B? Cast your votes now!

    Rain delay
    RAIN STOPS PLAY - 24th over: 136-1
    After an over with his bald pate open to the elements, Jayasuriya dons a blue Sri Lanka cap. A couple of singles are added, but it's now raining and the ground staff bring on the bright yellow tarpaulin, joined by a bigger blue one.

    "I can imagine the 'Houston, we have a problem' lines those ex-pat Bangladeshi fans are getting!"
    Michael Gale in the TMS inbox

    23rd over: 134-1
    Rafique may be 36 years old but he's certainly the quickest of the three spinners, if you get my drift. Jayasuriya has taken his helmet off, and moves on to 82 by strolling for a single to pinch the strike again.

    "Alicia Silverstone was in 'Batman and Robin', which was even worse than 'Batman Forever' with Val Kilmer, give me the 60s TV series any day. Do any cricketers look like superheroes?"
    Mike from Sheffield in the TMS inbox

    Mike, thanks for correcting me. You've thrown down a mighty gauntlet here - cricketers as superheroes? I look forward to your e-mails...

    22nd over: 128-1
    Saqib Al Hasan is the fifth bowler used, another gentle slow left-armer. A fairly tidy over, just three inoffensive singles added.

    "Wish I was there supporting the Sri Lankan team. Unfortunately, since I am 34 weeks pregnant, it's out of the question. So greetings to the Sri Lanka team, not forgetting the England team too - I'm enjoying a cuppa and piece of cake while listening to the match."
    Imi from Wokingham, Berkshire in the TMS inbox

    21st over: 125-1
    Jayasuriya and Jayawardene keep the score ticking over with some quick singles off Rafique's fourth over. But Jaywardene is then sent back again after charging down the wicket. He's a run-out waiting to happen at this rate.

    "The Bangladesh supporters have been joined by some expatriates from Houston in Texas, and they're determined to enjoy themselves today."
    Colin Croft on TMS

    20th over: 122-1
    Jayasuriya pulls Razzak to Mohammad Ashraful on the square-leg boundary. He's unable to hold the catch, but releases it in time to stop the ball going for six. I saw Chris Smith do that once in a Sunday League game for Hampshire at Edgbaston. Jayawardene then should have been run out when he nudges it onto the leg side, is sent back and wicket-keeper Rahim misses the stumps with a throw from close range. Could be very costly.

    19th over: 117-1
    Just three more singles as Rafique gives it some tweak. Jayasuriya now on 73.

    18th over: 114-1
    Mortaza off, Razzak's back on for spin from both ends. A fairly quiet over, with the highlight being a delightful legside flick for two by Jayasuriya.

    "Whilst it might be considered bad form, is it permissible for a bowler to bowl underarm to avoid say losing a match?"
    Steve in the TMS inbox

    Steve, you might want to pose that question to Australia's Chappell brothers if you ever meet any of them?

    17th over: 111-1
    Nelson - where's David Shepherd when you need him? Rafique has a wonderful dancing run-up, tripping in on his toes between the umpire and the stumps to bowl to Jaywardene and giving it some flight. A better over for Bangladesh. As for Batgirl, I remember Alicia Silverstone being just about the only reason to watch the otherwise forgettable "Batman Forever" film. Even Nicole Kidman's acting was about as wooden as Jayasuriya's bat.

    16th over: 108-1
    Third powerplay taken. Will they bowl Mortaza straight through? This is his eighth over. Jayasuriya leg-glances one for four, and lets the umpire know he doesn't want it signalled as leg-byes.

    "Surely female batsmen are called batgirls! And what about Third Man? Is she Third Woman?"
    Toby Smith in the TMS inbox

    Wicket falls
    15th over: WICKET - Tharanga c Ahmed b Rafique 26, SL 102-1
    More slow left-arm but Razzak's off, replaced by Mohammad Rafique after just two overs - and the bowling change works as Tharanga slashes to point where he is brilliantly caught by Aftab Ahmed, leaping through the air like Paul Collingwood. Drinks are taken as Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jaywardene emerges, and a wide brings up the century.

    14th over: 97-0
    Jayasuriya's pinched the strike, and effortlessly hoicks Mortaza for four. As he bends over, sweat pours from underneath his helmet as if he had been using it to bail out a sinking ship.

    That's 50
    13th over: 88-0
    Jayasuriya hoists Razzak for two huge sixes over long-off, the second of which brings up his fifty. It could be a long morning in the field for the Tigers.

    12th over: 75-0
    Mortaza's back for his sixth over, switching to the Media Centre end. Jayasuriya gets an inside edge which rolls away safely, and to celebrate he pierces the infield again with a hook which goes for four on the second bounce. Tharanga is rapped on the hand, and the physio runs on to treat him. Another man runs on brandishing a pristine white towel.

    "The stands may look similar to Loftus Road, but I hope the seating plan is better. The seats at QPR have less legroom than a budget airline! Sitting through 90 minutes is agony enough - I couldn't last a whole ODI."
    Andy Keeler in the TMS inbox

    11th over: 69-0
    First bowling change, with Abdur Razzak coming on to bowl slow left-arm, while Bangladesh also take the second powerplay immediately. Tharanga cover-drives the first ball for four, while they also take some comfortable singles. New Zealand didn't take their third powerplay against Kenya yesterday until the 42nd over - did Stephen Fleming forget?

    10th over: 62-0
    Jayasuriya clears the ropes again, lofting Rasel over midwicket for six. Rasel's getting a bit of punishment here when he strays down the leg side.

    "The Queen's Park Oval reminds me of Queens Park Rangers' ground, Loftus Road, with these compact two-tiered stands."
    Arlo White on TMS

    9th over: 54-0
    No real fireworks yet from Sri Lanka, they're happy to take ones and twos at this stage, but the fifty's up already. Jayasuriya looking good through the third man/gully area. I was at school with a chap whose hockey skills always came out in his batting, as he only ever rarely hit the ball in front of the wicket. You could set the field appropriately!

    "At Towcester Ladies cricket club we call them anything that is polite when they have a bat in their hands... it's far safer!"
    Graeme Williams in the TMS inbox

    8th over: 46-0
    Tharanga sees one fly off the edge over gully, while Jayasuriya pulls a wayward ball to leg for four as the sun threatens to return.

    7th over: 40-0
    Tharanga is starting to get his eye in. He cuts Mortaza for four, and is also rapped on the pad by a ball that pitched outside leg stump. Tharanga has 17, Jayasuriya has 16.

    "There's a bit of a lack of communication between the batsmen. They've opened together many times, but only Jayasuriya's communicating well."
    Colin Croft on TMS

    6th over: 32-0
    Three Bangladesh fielders combine to save a boundary from Jayasuriya, who takes three anyway, but Tharanga just edges the next one off his legs for four. Bangladesh have some very keen supporters in the stand, holding a cute toy tiger.

    5th over: 24-0
    Tharanga straight-drives past Mortaza, who falls to the turf trying to stop it. Let's hope he's all right after his fielding sprawl in the second over. Jayasuriya has suddenly crept up to 13 with a couple of dabs to third man.

    "Do women cricketers get called batsmen? Or are they batters, batswomen or batspersons? Or is this another example of political correctness gone mad?"
    Neil Okninski in the TMS inbox

    4th over: 20-0
    Rasel strays down the leg side with a half-volley and Jayasuriya effortlessly flicks him over the square-leg boundary for six. Nice wrists, Sanath. Tharanga then charges for an attempted single which was never there - Rasel shies at the stumps at the bowler's end but misses. Tharanga would have been run out by about five metres but escapes.

    "Net run-rate is probably a fair way to decide the groups when teams are level on points, but it's not the easiest to follow at the ground. Run-rate's not my strongest suit!"
    Kevin Howells on TMS

    3rd over: 11-0
    Tharanga nudges a single, while Jayasuriya clips Mortaza off his legs for two. A steady start for the 1996 world champions.

    2nd over: 8-0
    The southpaws are dominating the action as we've got Syed Rasel bowling left-arm seam to the two left-handers. He beats Jayasuriya's outside edge before the old campaigner pulls to leg and Mortaza slips on the turf just when it looked like he was going to stop the four. Mortaza then glares at the turf in the manner of a goalkeeper glaring at an imaginary divot as he looks to shift the blame for a soft goal.

    1st over: 4-0
    Mashrafee Mortaza opens the bowling for Bangladesh and swiftly finds a good length against Upul Tharanga, although he gets Sri Lanka off the mark with a wide from the second ball. Tharanga dabs a quick tip-and-run single, so he's off the mark too, while Jayasuriya adds a leg-bye off a no-ball. Four runs on the scoreboard - and three extras already.

    "Of course it's an absolute disgrace (saying "elect to bowl" rather than "field") along with the use of 'batters' rather than 'batsmen'. Cricket is not rounders, let alone baseball."
    Richard Rosser in the TMS inbox

    1328: The players are out on the field and we're almost ready to roll.

    1317: Just my luck to get landed with the most mathematically challenging group. Take a deep breath, these are the permutations:

  • If Sri Lanka win today, they are still not certain of reaching the Super 8 phase as if if they lose to India on Friday and Bangladesh beat Bermuda on Sunday, three teams would finish on four points and run-rate would determine qualification.
  • However, a Bangladesh win today would guarantee them a place in the second phase - as they would then have four points, leaving India and Sri Lanka in a straight eliminator on Sunday to claim the second qualification place.
  • A Bangladesh win would also end Bermuda's very, very faint chances of progressing. Poor old Dwayne Leverock.

    1311: Both teams are unchanged, and Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar thinks it's a good toss to win.

    1307: As a youngster learning the game, I was told that the accepted phrase was that you elected to "field" rather than "bowl" first. Many people say "bowl" now - when did it all change?

    1305: A very good afternoon. It may be lunchtime in the UK, it's a bright morning in Trinidad and just after 7pm in Bangladesh - and the news is that the Tigers have won the toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat.


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