Bangladesh fight back with Taskin special

Sports Correspondent

1 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Pacer Taskin Ahmed claimed three wickets to bring Bangladesh back in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Friday.

Taskin continued his brilliant work with the ball in the series which was aided by spinners Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam as Bangladesh took five Sri Lankan wickets on the second day to reduce the hosts to 469-6 before bad light and rain forced an early stumps.

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella remained unbeaten 64 in as many deliveries while Ramesh Mendis made 22 not out as the pair shared an 87-run stand in the seventh-wicket after the hosts were trimmed down to 382-6.

The Kandy wicket seemed to be changed drastically from the first day after the hosts resumed on 291-1 and both the overnight unbeaten batsmen Lahiru Thirimanne and Oshada Fernando found it hard to score runs easily on the second day.

Thirimanne and Fernando, however, survived the first hour of the day with scoring only 18 runs in the first 12 overs of the day.

Taskin then gave Bangladesh the first breakthrough of the day as Thirimanne was caught behind after making 140 off 298 balls that also ended his 104-run second-wicket stand with Fernando.

Taskin could have given Bangladesh another success in the same over when he edged Angelo Mathews to the wicketkeeper but Bangladesh fielders didn’t make any appeal that denied him another wicket.

However, that misjudgment couldn’t cost Bangladesh much as Mathews was dismissed in the same fashion on five three overs later.

Taijul joined Taskin in the wicket-taking act as he removed the previous match’s centurion Dhananjaya de Silva on two after Najmul Hossain took a catch at slip on the second attempt and Sri Lanka soon found them from 312-1 to 328-4.

Sri Lanka went to lunch break on 334-4, adding just 43 runs in 26 over to their overnight score in the first session with Bangladeshi bowlers enjoyed a rare successful outing during the session.

Fernando and Pathum Nissanka cautiously started the second session and put up 54 runs in the fifth wicket stand before both the batters were sent to the pavilion in space of five deliveries.

Nissanka was firstly bowled by Taskin on 30 while Mehidy removed Fernando on 81 in the next over.

However, Bangladeshi bowlers couldn’t enjoy more success on the day as their fielders let them down again with Najmul, who dropped Dimuth Karunaratne on 28 on Thursday, missed yet another catch of Ramesh on 12 off Taskin at the slip area.

The drop chance made Dickwella and Ramesh play out the remaining overs while scoring at a good pace before the early stumps, giving the hosts a chance to declare early on the third day to test the visitors on a much different wicket in Kandy from the first game. 

“The pitch was also was a bit slower today than it was yesterday. The ball tended to stick in the wicket a bit. I think by tomorrow or day after tomorrow, there will be some turn on this surface. There weren’t many footmarks yet, but maybe if it pitches there could be some turn,” Fernando said after the end of second day’s play.