1 Jan 2009

Bangaldeshi's go close to unlikely cricket win

5:49 am on 1 January 2009

The Bangladeshi cricketers gave one of their best batting performances before suffering a 107-run defeat in the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka.

Chasing an unlikely 521-run target, the hosts were bowled out for 413 on the fifth and final afternoon after skipper Mohammad Ashraful's brilliant 101 and man-of-the-match Shakib Al Hasan's career-best 96.

It was Bangladesh's fourth-highest total in 58 Tests and the 11th-best fourth-innings performance in the history of the game.

Only four teams -- the West Indies, South Africa, India and Australia -- have won a Test after chasing more than 400 in the fourth innings.

The Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan finished the Test with 10 for 190, his 22nd haul of 10 or more wickets in a match.

The second and final Test starts in Chittagong on Saturday.