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POST TIME: 2 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Dhananjaya, Mendis keep Tigers at bay
Bangladesh post formidable 513
Syed Mohammed Pithu, Ctg

Dhananjaya, Mendis keep Tigers at bay

Sri Lankan batsman Dhananjaya de Silva (R ) raises his bat to celebrate century as his partner Kusal Mendis cheers him from behind during second day’s play of the first Test match against Bangladesh at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. BCB Photo

With the pitch showing cracks, Bangladesh’s dream to seize a considerable first innings lead against Sri Lanka is still on the cards even though the visitors fought admirably to leave the first Test in the balance for the time being. Sri Lanka reached 187 for one at the close of the day two, thanks to Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis who kept the side unscathed until the finish of the day.

After dismissing Bangladesh for 513 in the first innings, one hour after the lunch, the duo were untroubled despite losing opener Dimuth Karunaratne even before Sri Lanka opened their account. However Taijul Islam and Sunzamul Islam brought up some discomfort for them toward the end when the cracks in the pitch gradually started being visible.

The two batsmen however survived some close calls at that moment but kept the wicket intact, with de Silva on 104, while Mendis on 83. Silva’s fourth century, his second in succession following his 119 (retired hurt) against India, actually hurt Bangladesh more on the day.

Bangladesh sensed an opportunity to keep its domination over Sri Lanka for the second consecutive day when off-spinner Mehidi Hasan Miraj had opener Dimuth Karunarate caught behind at first slip, leaving the scoreboard 0 for one in three overs. de Silva however resisted playing a nearly flawless innings, a 127 ball-knock in which he hit 15 boundaries.

Mendis though was shaky at times, somehow managed to deny Bangladesh a wicket and hit six fours and one six in his 152 ball-83.

Sri Lanka earlier made regular inroads on day two to wrap up Bangladesh’s innings one hour after the lunch, leaving captain Mahmudullah stranded on 83.

Mahmudullah held together the innings after Mominul Haque added just one run to his overnight total to be out for 176. Mushfiqur Rahim was the other notable scorer with 92 while opener Tamim Iqbal made 52.

The captain formed a 58-run partnership with Sunzamul Islam on day two to rally the side before Rangana Herath inspired Sri Lanka get back into the game early in the morning session.  The veteran left-arm spinner struck twice to dismiss Mominul and Mosaddek Hossain in the first seven overs of the day.

Mehidi then counterattacked to keep Sri Lanka frustrated, but was run out for 20 trying to score a third run, leaving Bangladesh 417-7. Mahmudullah revived Bangladesh innings as it appeared, it wouldn’t get past 500. He got support in Sunzamul Islam who scored 24.

Left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan broke through just after the lunch to remove Sunzamul and Herath got rid of Taijul (1). But Mahmudullah remained solid and added a valuable 35 run with the last batsman Mustafizur Rahman (8) to help the side propel past 500.

SCOREBOARD

Bangladesh first innings (374-4 overnight)

Tamim  b D Perera     52

I Kayes lbw b Sandakan     40

Mominul c Mendis b Herath     176

Mushfiqur c Dickwella b Lakmal     92

Liton b Lakmal     0

Mahmudllah not out     83

Mosaddek c Sandakan b Herath     8

Mehedi run out     20

Sunzamul st Dickwella b Sandakan    24

Taijul b Herath     1

Mustafizur c Dickwella b Lakmal     8

Extras (nb 4, w5)     9

Total (all out; 129.5 overs)     513

Fall of wickets: 1-72, 2-120, 3-356, 4-356, 5-376, 6-390, 7-417, 8-475, 9-478, 10-513.

BOWLING    O    M    R    W

S Lakmal    23.4    4    68    3

L Kumara    15    1    79    0

D Perera    27    4    112    1

R Herath    37    2    150    3

L Sandakan    22    1    92    2

Dhananjaya    5    0    12    0

Sri Lanka first innings

D Karunaratne c Kayes b Mehedi 0

K Mendis not out     83

D De Silva not out     104

Extras     0

Total (one wicket. 48 overs)     187

Fall of wickets: 1    -0.

To Bat: D. Chandimal, N. Dickwella, R. Silva, D. Perera, R. Herath, S. Lakmal, L. Sandakan, L. Kumara.

BOWLING    O    M    R    W

Mustafizur    7    1    31    0

Sunzamul    15    1    52    0

Mehedi    8    0    45    1

Taijul     17    3    56    0

Mosaddek    1    0    3    0