Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh (left) gets a warm hug from team mate Mosaddek Hossain after scoring his fourth Test hundred
on the third day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval yesterday.
Bangladesh gave themselves an outside chance of pulling off a stunning win in their Centenary Test match when they took a first innings lead of 129 runs over Sri Lanka in the second Test played at the P Sara Oval yesterday.
By stumps however on the third day Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga negotiated the 13 overs successfully to erase off 54 of the deficit runs to leave them trailing by 75 runs with all ten second innings wickets in hand and two days of the match remaining. Both batsmen were unbeaten on 25 apiece.
The day however belonged to Bangladesh especially their former captain and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who put his team in the driving seat with a well paced out century that saw Bangladesh total 467 and gain a first innings lead over Sri Lanka only for the second time in 18 Tests played between the two countries. The first was in 2013 when Bangladesh knocked up their highest Test score 638 replying to Sri Lanka’s 570-4 declared.
Following the spurt of wickets that fell in the final session of the second day, Bangladesh put up a more disciplined and resolute batting performance yesterday through their two most experienced players Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Bangladesh’s recovery was fashioned out by Shakib who scored his fourth Test hundred and his first against Sri Lanka in seven Tests.
Resuming with his score on 18 Shakib batted for nearly two sessions in scoring a well-paced 116 off 159 balls that included 10 fours.
He was out two overs before the tea break when he attempted to clear mid-on off a delivery from Lakshan Sandakan and was caught by Dinesh Chandimal who did well to cling onto the powerful drive.
Shakib made Sri Lanka pay dearly for letting him off at 11 when Upul Tharanga spilled a catch offered by him at deep midwicket off Sandakan.
Shakib’s 250-minute stay at the wicket proved fruitful for Bangladesh who prospered by two important partnerships – 92 for the sixth wicket with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (52) and 131 for the seventh wicket with 21-year-old debutant Mosaddek Hossain which was a new partnership record for Bangladesh in the series and a new ground record.
Hossain kept the innings afloat with an attractive knock of 75 off 155 balls. He showed great maturity for his age to strike seven fours and two sixes.
Hossain could easily have gone onto make a debut hundred had he not run out of partners. That situation for him was created by Sri Lanka skipper Rangana Herath who brought the Bangladesh innings to a swift end by taking three wickets for seven runs in a spell of 9.1 overs (4 maidens).
That spell included his 1000th first-class wicket which he achieved when he trapped Mustafizur Rahman lbw for a duck. Only Muthiah Muralitharan (1374 wickets) have achieved the milestone before Herath amongst Sri Lankan bowlers.
Sri Lanka had solitary success either side of lunch picking up the wicket of Mushfiqur in the first session and then Shakib’s in the second. Shakib’s dismissal was untimely as Bangladesh were approaching tea and he and Hossain were well entrenched to build a big partnership for their team.
Sandakan and Herath shared eight wickets between them the other two were taken by Suranga Lakmal who deserved more for the inspired bowling spells he put in. (Daily News)