POST TIME: 1 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Mominul epic ton helps Tigers score fluently
Bangladesh score highest Test runs in a single day
Syed Mohammed Pithu, Ctg

Mominul epic ton helps Tigers score fluently

Bangladesh cricketer Mominul Haque reacts after scoring a century during the first day of the first cricket Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. AFP photo

Mominul Haque hit an epic 175 not out, an emotion-filled century which eluded him the last three years and sparked question about his technique and ability, as Bangladesh made a run-galore at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on the very first day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka yesterday.

Bangladesh ended the day on 374 for four, their highest score on a single day, bettering 365 for eight against West Indies in Khulna in 2012, to take the complete control of the Test. Since the wicket is believed to

deteriorate as the day progresses, the pace at which Bangladesh piled up runs on day one could have made the difference.  

The day could have been more exciting for Bangladesh had they not lost two wickets in consecutive deliveries of Suranga Lakmal toward the end including that of Mushfiqur Rahim’s who appeared set for his sixth century.

Mushfiqur Rahim missed a century by eight runs, being out on 92 but he and Mominul combined for a national record of 236 runs for the third wicket to establish the side’s dominance.

All of a sudden, when he was at the peak of his career, hitting four centuries in just 12 matches with possessing a Bradman-esque average, Mominul’s shortcomings against short-pitched delivery and off-spin was publicly exposed by Bangladesh’s the then coach Chandika Hathurusingha which put an adverse impact on him resulting in his patchy form. On the first Test after the departure of Hathurusingha, Mominul scored his first century that eluded him during the era of the previous coach, and that too in front of him, dominating the short deliveries and off-spinner of the Sri Lanka comprehensively.

Mominul’s fifth century bolstered Bangladesh’s position after Tamim Iqbal gave the side a solid start on a placid deck in which Mahmudullah Riyad called the coin rightly on his first assignment of captaincy career.

On a wicket where toss win is equivalent to match win, Tamim Iqbal ensured Bangladesh wouldn’t loss the ground. He launched Bangladesh’s innings in aggressive style, hitting pace bowler Lahiru Kumara three boundaries in succession in the second over of the day.

Tamim and his fellow opener Imrul Kayes shared 72 runs in just 16 over, much to the frustration of the visitors as they couldn’t find the right line to resist them from scoring freely at least. Tamim reached his 25th fifty off just 46 balls and looked solid until off-spinner Dilruwan Perera crashed his stump with a quicker one. Tamim struck six fours and one straight six off Perera bowling in the innings lasting for 53 balls.

Kayes made 40, before Sandakan had him leg-before on the stroke of the lunch, leaving Bangladesh 120 for two. But the momentum that Tamim gave, Mominul didn’t let it go. Together with Mushfiqur, he kept Sri Lanka frustrated throughout the second session of the day.

He was fluent and took just 96 balls to reach his fifth century, which was the second fastest ton for Bangladesh after Tamim Iqbal who made 94 ball-century against England in Lord’s in 2010.

In contrast, Rahim was slow in approach but gave Mominul a strong support.  Just when it looked Bangladesh would end the day without losing further wicket, Suranga Lakmal dealt a double blow in consecutive deliveries to remove Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das. Rahim’s 92 came off 192 balls, including 10 boundaries.

Captain Mahmudullah and Mominul then saw off the day without any trouble with the former ending the day on 9. Mominul hit 16 boundaries and one six in knock in which he so far played 203 balls.

Lakmal claimed two for 43 while Perera and Sandakan picked up one wicket apiece.