BOGRA, Mar 8 (AFP): Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan was two scalps away from the magic tally of 600 Test wickets after destroying Bangladesh in the second Test here Wednesday.
The off-spinner grabbed 5-79, his 50th five-wicket haul, as the hosts were shot out for 234 after electing to bat at the Shaheed Chandu stadium, Test cricket's newest venue in northern Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka groped to 25-2 in reply by stumps, losing opener Michael Vandort and nightwatchman Malinga Bandara cheaply to the new ball.
Upul Thilanga (12) and Thilan Samaraweera (seven) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease.
Seamers Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando hastened Bangladesh's downfall with two wickets apiece, but Sri Lanka's man of the moment was the prolific Muralitharan.
Muralitharan moved to 598 wickets, inching towards Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne's record tally of 659. Warne begins a three-Test series against South Africa later this month.
Muralitharan is the only bowler in history to claim more than 1,000 international wickets. His tally of 1009 includes 598 Test and 411 one-day wickets.
No other bowler comes even close to Muralitharan's feat of grabbing five wickets in an innings on 50 occasions. The next best is retired New Zealander Richard Hadlee's tally of 36. Warne has done it 34 times.
Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar top-scored with 69 but found no support at the other end. Opener Javed Omar made 35 while Mohammad Rafique boosted the total with a defiant 32 after his team was reduced to 186-6.