'Tigers capable of fight' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2009

Grameenphone Test SeriesBangladesh-Srilanka

'Tigers capable of fight'


The Sri Lanka players are exultant after notching up victory against Bangladesh during the fifth and final day of the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday. The islanders were made to sweat for what should have been a routine win, and their relief was evident after bowling out the Tigers. Photo: STAR

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene praised the Tigers' attitude during the second innings of the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
The visitors won the game by 107 runs on the final day after Bangladesh made a brave attempt at chasing 521 runs.
But when asked of the unthinkable, Jayawardene confidently gestured that his side had absolutely no fear of losing the match. But he recognised the Tigers' effort.
"It was not unusual for Bangladesh to fight as they are capable of it," he said in the post-match press conference before adding, "The wicket played a big role. Even though we scored 521, the bowlers had to give a big effort and they did."
Sri Lanka had a 115-run first innings lead before Jayawardene led a mini-rescue operation in making sure nothing was spoiled for the Lankans on the final day of the year. Bangladesh were given a target of 521 runs to be made in five sessions and although it was enough time for the visitors to take ten wickets, it almost became enough for the home side to chase down the target. At times yesterday, the Lankan skipper had a furrowed brow as the three Tigers batsmen made the runs.
"The wicket was really good and it was gradually improving. You know we had enough time, i.e., five sessions to bowl them out.
"We wanted to score big and attack because it is made easier that way. Bangladesh batted very well but in the end, it is another Test win for us," added the stylish right-hander who made 166 in the second innings.
He specially mentioned his opposite number for his timely century. Mohammad Ashraful ensured that he didn't let the year go without scoring a hundred against the Lankans, making his fourth against the islanders.
"He batted well and took the responsibility. Certainly he is the dangerman for us and we always have a plan for him," said Jayawardene.
Ashraful's knock, coupled with brilliant efforts from Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim forced Jayawardene to keep his chief weapon Muttiah Muralidaran on for 48 overs. The skipper however pointed out that Muralidaran ended with another 10-for, something that nobody can question.
He was reminded of the fact that it would be his 100th Test in Chittagong. It would also give him a chance to reach the 8,000-run mark in the purest form of the game. Jayawardene, who needs 74 to reach another milestone, said that he feels no pressure.
"I am proud to have played for the country and I don't feel much pressure to score 8000 runs and play my 100th Test," said Jayawardene.

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