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Bangladesh hit back with spin on 15-wicket day

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After putting up a low score, Bangladesh are eyeing a potential first innings lead

Spin ruled the roost on the opening day of the second Test as Bangladesh hit back after being bowled out for a paltry 172. Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam reduced New Zealand to 55/5 before bad light ended the day’s play.

New Zealand attempted to attack against the new ball until spinners came into play. Mehidy had Devon Conway leaving alone a ball that went straight on to kickstart the collapse. Taijul then struck with help from Nurul Hasan, who took a sharp low catch, behind the stumps. He had another in his following over when Henry Nicholls fell trying to take the aerial route. Things went further south as Mehidy had Kane Williamson caught at short leg and Tom Blundell plumb LBW in the space of three balls. It left New Zealand in tatters, and Bangladesh cock-a-hoop after wading through similar tides earlier in the day and eventually being bowled out soon after the Tea interval.

The second session began with Bangladesh in the middle of a recovery through Mushfiqur Rahim and Shahadat Hossain who put on a 57-run stand before the former had a brain-fade. On 35, Rahim pushed the ball away with his glove after defending it and was given out obstructing the field as New Zealand’s appeal was rightly upheld. The basic error proved to be quite costly as Bangladesh suffered another slide.

Shahadat, who had held one end up defly alongside Rahim in their resolute stand, was out edging a big offbreak down the legside to fall prey to Glenn Phillips. Nurul Hasan added to Phillips’s scalps by hitting one straight to mid on. After a 42-ball stay, Mehidy Hasan Miraz poked at a turner from Mitchell Santner just minutes before Tea break, edging it to slip. That wicket capped off another good session for the visitors.

New Zealand had included Santner in place of Ish Sodhi for this Test, and he had been the first to strike – inducing a false stroke from opener Zakir Hasan and having him caught at mid on – in the morning session.

This was a result of both left-arm spinners – Santner and Ajaz Patel – starting on song and stringing together a few tight overs. That wicket though brought about a few more in quick succession. Ajaz had Mahmudul Hasan caught off an inside edge at short leg first and in his next over, had Mominul Haque under-edging a cut to the wicket-keeper.

Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto attempted a brief counterattack, reverse-sweeping Santner for a boundary but fell while going for an encore. As he missed and was struck on the pad, Santner pushed for a LBW review and got it in his favour, reducing Bangladesh to 47/4 at one point.

What looked like a position of no return at one point was eventually turned around thanks to the spinners joining the party.

Brief Scores:
Bangladesh 172 all out (Mushfiqur Rahim 35; Glenn Phillips 3-31, Mitchell Santner 3-54) lead New Zealand 55/5 (Mehidy Hasan 3-17) by 117 runs



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Agriculture and tourism key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery- President

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Addressing the 37th session of the Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Colombo today (20), President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed the government’s dedication to elevating Sri Lanka as a prominent exporter of agricultural produce through rapid agricultural sector transformation. He emphasized the pivotal role agriculture played in navigating Sri Lanka through the previous economic crisis and highlighted agriculture and tourism as key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery.

The conference, which commenced on the 19th of February in Colombo with the participation of diplomats and representatives from 34 countries including the United States, China, and Russia, will conclude tomorrow (21). Sri Lanka’s chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific region of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will extend from now until 2026.

This year’s conference, themed “Transformation of the Agro-Food System,” will delve into key areas such as promoting nutritious food production, ensuring food security, enhancing food production, safeguarding the environment, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change risks.

Sri Lanka hosted the 2nd Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in 1955.

(PMD)

 

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2024 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Day to be held on 10th March

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The Cabinet of Ministers was informed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that actions were being taken to hold the 2024 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Day at the Gall Face, grounds on  10th March with the participation of  Diplomatic missions of member countries, partner states and a large number of school students from all provinces of the island.

The theme for 2024 IORA Day is  “A Sustainable Indian Ocean for Future Generation

 

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Mathews, Hasaranga all-round show helps Sri Lanka seal series

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Sri Lanka won the second T20I by 72 runs

Angelo Mathews and Wanindu Hasaranga’s brilliant all-round show, well complimented by a steady half-century from Sadeera Samarawickrama, helped Sri Lanka prolong Afghanistan’s winless streak on in the ongoing multi-format tour and seal the T20I series 2-0 with a game to go. Sri Lanka posted a commanding 187/6 riding on the back of Samarawickrama’s fifty and cameos from the two all-rounders. However, Mathews opened the bowling as well after his unbeaten knock and triggered a top-order collapse that the visitors failed to recover from, eventually collapsing to 115 all out in reply.

Put in to bat first, the Sri Lankan openers got their team off to a flying start with a quickfire 45-run stand in under four overs. The pair launched a flurry of boundaries – they hit nine between them – as the hosts quickly raced away before Azmatulllah got the much needed breakthrough for Afghanistan by trapping Pathum Nissanka LBW. Kusal Mendis fell three balls later, as Afghanistan dented their progress.

Losing both set openers, and then Dhananjaya da Silva, in quick succession set was a setback Sri Lanka needed to quickly recover from and Samarawickrama came to the rescue with a steady half-century and caemos around it gave Sri Lanka firm control of proceedings. First, it was Wanindu Hasaranga who smacked a couple of sixes in his 9-ball stay for 22. And later it was Mathews who hammered four maximums and two more boundaries, chipping in an invaluable 42* in just 22 balls. His knock, that helped Sri Lanka plunder 49 runs in just the last three overs, proved the turning point as the hosts finished with a daunting 187 on the board.

Fresh off his batting heroics, Mathews picked up the new ball and delivered in the very first over by having Hazratullah Zazai caught behind. He accounted for the Afghanistan skipper, Ibrahim Zadran, as well in his following over, finishing his brief powerplay spell with impressive figures of 2-9 as Afghanistan slipped to 19/2. To make matters worse, Binura Fernando struck twice in the fifth over to make it 31/5 and Afghanistan were eventually at the point of no return.

The 39-run stand that ensued between Mohammad Nabi (27) and Karim Janat (28) was probably the only thing to write home about in all of Afghanistan’s chase. Nabi in particular was aggressive during his 17-ball 27, hitting a couple of sixes, but the target in front of them was too tall a mountain to climb. Hasaranga and Pathirana wrapped up the tail fairly quickly once the stubborn sixth-wicket stand was broken by Dasun Shanaka and Afghanistan fell a staggering 72 runs short.

Brief scores:
Sri Lanka 187/6 in 20 overs (Pathum Nissanka 25, Kusal Mendis 23, Sadeera Samarawickrama 51, Wanidu Hasaranga 22, Angelo Mathews 42*; Fazalhaq Farooki 1-31, Azmatullah Omarzai 2-40, Naveen-ul-Haq 1-46,  Mohammed Nabi 2-25) beat  Afghanistan 115 all out in 17 overs (Karim Janat 28, Mohammad Nabi 27; Angelo Mathews 2-9, Binura Fernando 2-18, Maheesh Theekshana 1-30,  Wanindu Hasaranga 2-19, Matheesha Pathirana 2-22, Dasun Shanaka 1-17 ) by 72 runs

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