x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sri Lanka v Bangladesh: High-scoring cricket affair ends in a stalemate

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara scored a century during the fifth day of their first Test cricket match against Bangladesh but the high-scoring affarir ended in a tame tie.

Sri Lankan batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan, right, and Kumar Sangakkara, centre, run between the wickets as Bangladeshi cricketer Elias Sunny looks on during the final day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Tuesday. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP
Sri Lankan batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan, right, and Kumar Sangakkara, centre, run between the wickets as Bangladeshi cricketer Elias Sunny looks on during the final day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Tuesday. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP

GALLE, SRI LANKA // Kumar Sangakkara completed his second century of the match for Sri Lanka before the opening Test against Bangladesh ended in a tame draw on the fifth and final day on Tuesday.

Sangakkara hit a solid 105 and the opener Tillakaratne Dilshan an impressive 126 as Sri Lanka declared their second innings at 335 for four at tea to set Bangladesh an improbable 268-run victory target in the last session.

The tourists finished at 70 for one in their second innings.

The flat track at Galle produced eight centuries, equalling the record of most tons in a Test set in the West Indies versus South Africa match in Antigua in 2005.

"The draw is huge and it was also the first time we took the lead against Sri Lanka," said the Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim."It is really enjoyable. The team is playing very well together. We didn't really bowl well first up, so we had a chat that we need to show character and then our batsmen did really well."

Sri Lanka added 219 for the loss of three wickets to their overnight total of 116 for one, with the debutant Kithuruwan Vithanage (59) and the captain Angelo Mathews (38 not out) being the other main scorers.

Sangakkara completed his 32nd century, the highest by a Sri Lankan in Tests, with a single off the off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah. He hit 10 fours in his 172-ball knock.

The former captain, who scored a brilliant 142 in the first innings, also became the fifth Sri Lankan to make a century in each innings of a Test after Duleep Mendis, Asanka Gurusinha, Aravinda de Silva and Dilshan.

India v Australia: Decision to ban players criticised by Border and Lehmann

Pat Howard, the Cricket Australia general manager, said on Tuesday that the door was still open for Shane Watson to play Tests after the vice-captain returned home following his axing from the rest of the India tour.

The 31 year old was one of four players suspended for one Test after failing to prepare feedback and deliver it to management on how Australia could improve, with the team trailing 2-0 in the series.

Stunned Watson suggested he could quit Test cricket altogether.

Howard said Watson was still in contention, but must start toeing the team line, implying he was not always a team player.

"I know Shane reasonably well. I think he acts in the best interests of the team, sometimes," he said in Brisbane. "I am not going to get drawn into that any more. But there are failings in the system in that we are not getting the best out of Shane –that’s our fault."

Watson arrived home late Tuesday night rebutting Howard’s comments, saying, "Howards doesn’t particularly know me very well. The guys back in India know how much it hurts me."

Meanwhile, Howard added he was not concerned about the all-rounder’s future just yet. "I am not worried about that at the moment," he said. "I will discuss it with him when I get a chance. I have left a message with his agent.

"But I think it is clear that whoever is playing for Australia has to be there for the right reasons.

"They have to want to win for Australia. You don’t get to pick and choose. It is the standards that the team sets – not playing under your own conditions."

Watson’s departure has left his captain Michael Clarke short of experienced heads after the recent retirement of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, with an Ashes double-header against England looming later this year.

Australia are due to play five Test matches in England in July and August before the two sides go head-to-head again in Australia in another five-match series starting in November

James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were the other players suspended.

Former players strongly criticised the decision. "Adults we are, not schoolboys," tweeted Darren Lehmann, seen as a future coach.

The former captain and selector Allan Border was equally astounded. "What are they on, a schoolboy tour?," he told Fox Sports. "I don’t see the logic in this. It is way over the top."

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