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Lanka clinch easy win over B'desh

Riding on a brilliant ton by Tharanga, Lanka launch their Champions Trophy campaign with a 37-run win. Scorecard

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 16:21 IST

Riding on a magnificent century by opener Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka launched their Champions Trophy campaign with a scrappy 37-run victory over Bangladesh in Mohali on Saturday.

Chasing a daunting target of 303 runs for victory, the minnows only managed to score 265 in reply to Lanka's  mammoth 302.

Saqibul Hasan (67 not out) hit his maiden unbeaten half century while Aftab Ahmed (33) and Farhad Reza (34) were the other notable contributors for Bangladesh.

Earlier, faced with an uphill task of scoring at over six runs per over, the Bangladesh openers Nafees and Ashraful got off to cautious start before Chaminda Vaas struck to draw first blood.

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Shahriar Nafees was the first wicket to fall, caught brilliantly by Kumar Sangakkara, who dived full stretch to give Chaminda Vaas his first scalp of the match.

Mohammad Ashraful was the next man to go. He was also caught behind by Sangakkara off Dilhara Fernando for 18 runs.

Thereafter, Maharoof struck twice to spur Lanka as he dismissed Ahmed and Bashar in quick succession.

Sangakkara was involved in the third dismissal as well, when he held on to a catch from a top edge from Aftab Ahmed's bat.

Two balls later, Maharoof picked up his second wicket when he had Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar caught by Mahela Jayawardene for nought.

Earlier, after being put into bat by Bangladesh, openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga gave the islanders a smashing start with a 67-run partnership for the first wicket before Rasel provided the breakthough for the Bangladeshis by getting rid of the dangerous Jayasuriya for 31.

Jayasuriya's departure brought the Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene to the crease.

Tharanga, alongwith the skipper, carried on the onslaught and clobbered the Bangladesh bowlers to all corners of the park before Razzak struck to end the blitz and send back the dangerous looking Jayawardene for a well struck 35.

Tharanga was joined by Sangakkara after the fall of the skipper's wicket. The former struck a fine century to provide Sri Lanka a solid platform for the final attack.

The elegant southpaw anchored the Lankan onslaught alongwith Marvan Atapattu after Sangakkara's dismissal before falling to Mortaza for 105.
 
Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Nabibul Bashar won the toss and chose to field against Sri Lanka but the implementation went a little awry as the Lankans responded by rattling up a 300-plus total on what appeared to be a good batting track.

Sri Lanka, coming into the tournament sky-high on confidence after demolishing England 5-0 in England, followed by the thrashing they handed the Netherlands, started as clear favourites against the minnows.

This was the first match in the preliminary round of the limited-overs tournament. The other two teams that will play in this round are the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Two of these four teams will qualify to join the top six ICC ranked teams in the group stages.