Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne struck his second successive century as his side kept Bangladesh at bay by reaching 188 for no loss at tea on day one of the second Test at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
At the second interval of the day, Karunaratne who scored his career best 244 in only innings of first Test, was batting on 106 off 175, hitting 13 boundaries with Lahiru Thirimanne on 80. Thirimanne who closed in on his third century hit eight fours in his knock, playing 174 balls.The duo though made a cautious start, scoring just 66 runs at lunch, came out from the shell as the time progressed. In form Karunaratne indeed led the charge as he came hard on Bangladeshi bowlers after being reprieved on 28 as he edged a Taskin Ahmed delivery to first slip where Nazmul Hossain Shanto put down the chance.
He then grew with confidence and brought up his fifty off 111 balls, flicking a delivery of Abu Jayed Rahi in mid-wicket for three runs.
Bangladesh pacers including Shoriful Islam, who made his debut in the Test, replacing Ebadot Hossain for only change in the team, though bowled well in the morning session, they lost the momentum in the second session.
And Karunaratne was the man, who indeed, made the bowlers disarray.
Thirimanne then completed his 11th half-century off 102 balls, driving Mehidy Hasan Miraz at cover for two runs. But he played a second fiddle to his captain.
Karunaratne however plundered runs at will at the other end. His next fifty came up off just 54 deliveries as he clipped Taijul Islam’s flighted delivery to square leg for doubles and completed the 12th century off 165 deliveries.In the process he also completed 5000 Test runs, when he was on 71. However he is now the highest century-maker amongst the Sri Lanka active Test batsmen with Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal behind him with 11 centuries.