Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will be keen to maintain his impressive performance against Bangladesh in a two-Test series starting here on Friday.
The off-spinner troubled Bangladesh in previous Tests, grabbing 76 wickets in nine games, including three hauls of 10 or more wickets in a match. He is the world's leading wicket-taker with 756 scalps in 123 Tests.
Muralitharan's best performance against Bangladesh came in 2007 when he finished with 12-82 in the third and final Test in Kandy to complete his team's 3-0 series victory.
Spin was the key to Sri Lanka's 2-1 Test series win over India at home in August, with unorthodox slow bowler Ajantha Mendis taking 26 wickets and Muralitharan 21.
Although Mendis has been ruled out of Friday's match due to an ankle injury, Sri Lanka have another spinner in Rangana Herath who is capable of keeping pressure on Bangladesh.
Left-arm spinner Herath, dropped for the India series, bagged 6-16 in a three-day practice match, which ended in a draw on Tuesday.
Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful said his team could not afford to focus on Muralitharan alone.
"Sri Lanka's bowling is formidable. They are good in both departments (pace and spin). He (Muralitharan) has taken more than 70 wickets against us and their pacemen also have taken plenty," said Ashraful.
Sri Lanka, who have won all of their 10 Tests against Bangladesh, face a problem at the top of their batting order as openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura both failed in the warm-up game.
The visitors were struggling at 94-5 before Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasanna Jayawardene scored half-centuries to help their team post 316.
"Our middle order batted well, but the top order disappointed me," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said after the match.
Bangladesh hope to end the year with a better performance, having lost seven and drawn one of their eight Tests in 2008.
The hosts' best performance came in the opening Test in Chittagong in October when they managed to gain the lead over New Zealand, but failed to capitalise on it and eventually lost the match by three wickets.
The five-day Test is scheduled to end on December 31 with a rest day on Monday because of elections in Bangladesh. The final Test starts in Chittagong on January 3.
Sri Lanka will then play a triangular one-day series, also involving Zimbabwe, from January 10.
Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Malinda Warnapura, Michael Vandort, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, Dammika Prasad, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Thilan Thushara.
Bangladesh (from): Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Imrul Kayes, Raqibul Hasan, Mehrab Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Rajin Saleh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shahadat Hossain, Enamul Haque, Mahbubul Alam, Sajidul Islam.
Source: AFP South Asian Edition