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Tigers take control against Lankans

  • Atif Azam from Chattogram
  • 19 May, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tigers take control against Lankans
Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim celebrates after scoring a century against Sri Lanka during the fourth day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Wednesday. —AFP PHOTO

Mushfiqur Rahim struck his eighth Test hundred before Bangladesh claimed two early wickets in Sri Lanka’s second innings on the fourth day to take control in the two-match Test series opener at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Wednesday.

Mushfiqur made 105 off 282 balls and also became the first Bangladeshi batsman to score 5000 Test runs while Liton Das contributed 88 runs to help the hosts score 465 runs in their first innings and thus they took a 68-run lead over Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, who made 397 runs in their first innings, lost the wickets of opener Oshada Fernando (19) and nightwatchman Lasith Embuldeniya (two) in the final session to get reduced to 39-2 at stumps of the fourth day.

The visitors are still trailing Bangladesh by 29 runs with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne remaining unbeaten on 18 runs on day four.

Overnight unbeaten duo – Mushfiqur and Liton earlier started the day cautiously after Bangladesh resumed on 318-3.  The pair put up 67 runs in the first session after the day’s game started half an hour late due to rain.

Mushfiqur, who was 68 runs short of reaching the 5000-run mark, also achieved the feat in the first session on day four and Bangladesh went to lunch break at 385-3.

Sri Lankan pacer Kasun Rajitha then struck twice in the first two balls of the second session to remove Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal (133) to bring his side back in the contest.

Liton tried to chase a Rajitha ball wide outside the off-stump only to edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and it ended a record 201-run stand for the fourth wicket between him and Mushfiqur.

Tamim, who retired after scoring 133 runs on the third day, returned after Liton’s dismissal but saw his middle stump uprooted by a swing ball of Rajitha (4-60) during the first ball he faced on Wednesday.

Shakib Al Hasan then made 26 runs before losing his wicket to Asitha Fernando (3-72) but the loss of regular wickets hardly could break the concentration of Mushfiqur on the other hand.

Mushfiqur completed his ton by hitting Asitha for a boundary – only the fourth in the innings – off 270 balls and thus he scored his slowest hundred in his Test career.

The right-handed batsman fell to Embuldeniya during the third over of the final session while trying to play a sweep shot.

Nayeem Hasan (nine) and Taijul Islam (20) made some contributions late in the Bangladesh innings before Shoriful Islam (three) had to retire out for a blow to his hand that ended Bangladesh’s first innings.

Sri Lankan opener Oshada was run out with a direct throw by Taijul from midwicket during their second innings while the left-arm spinner later bowled Embuldeniya and stumps were taken immediately after.

Embuldeniya was earlier given out caught at the silly point off Taijul on the same score but he survived on review.

Meanwhile, on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough went off with a health issue after the end of the 139th over of the Bangladesh innings and third umpire Joel Wilson took his place for the remaining day alongside Sharfuddoula.