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Ton-up Ashraful defies Sri Lankan attack

GALLE, Sri Lanka (AFP) –

Bangladesh's Mohammad Ashraful raises his bat in celebration after scoring a century against Sri Lanka on March 10, 2013

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful raises his bat in celebration after scoring a century against Sri Lanka in Galle on March 10, 2013. Ashraful, playing his first Test in more than a year, smashed one six and 10 fours in his sixth Test hundred.

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful celebrated his comeback with a brilliant 107 not out on the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Ashraful, playing his first Test in more than a year, smashed one six and 10 fours in his sixth Test hundred as Bangladesh reached 224-4 in their first innings at lunch in reply to Sri Lanka’s 570-4 declared.

The tourists still trail by 346 runs with six wickets in hand. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was unbeaten on 25 at the break.

Bangladesh added 89 to their overnight total of 135-2 for the loss of two wickets in the morning session.

Ashraful, 65 overnight, continued to defy the Sri Lankan attack and reached his century with an aggressive shot, fluently driving unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis through the covers for a four.

Debutant Mominul Haque also impressed, scoring an 83-ball 55 with nine fours. He added 105 for the third wicket with Ashraful before being caught at first slip by skipper Angelo Mathews off paceman Nuwan Kulasekara.

The left-hander added 20 runs to his overnight score of 35.

Sri Lanka struck again when left-arm spinner Rangana Herath had Mohammad Mahmudullah stumped for no score to reduce Bangladesh to 177-4, but Ashraful and Rahim steadied the innings with an unfinished 47-run stand.

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