Sunday, 3 July, 2022

Sri Lanka on verge of first innings lead

Fifties from Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva guided Sri Lanka close to a first innings lead against Bangladesh after the second session’s play of day three of the final Test was washed out due to rain at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday.

Both the batsmen made an identical 58 runs with Mathews still on the crease while Dimuth Karunaratne struck 80 runs as the visitors finished the day at 282-5 in their first innings – trailing Bangladesh by 83 runs.

Shakib Al Hasan (3-59) was the most successful bowler on the day taking two wickets for the hosts with the first one coming off a magnificent delivery that drifted away and left Karunaratne in awe before getting bowled out.

Shakib also dismissed Dhananjaya in the final session to break a 102-run stand between him and Mathews before the latter and Dinesh

Chandimal (10 not out) played out the remaining overs of the day.

“He is a smart operator. He changes his pace really subtly. He showed again, chipped away. Hopefully, he walks away with a five-wicket haul tomorrow. It is awesome to have him in the team. His experience and leadership are priceless,” pace bowling coach Allan Donald said about Shakib’s bowling after the end of the day’s play.

Earlier, it took Bangladesh only two balls to get a success on day three when pacer Ebadot Hossain (2-78) bowled out nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha (0) after the visitors resumed on 143-2.

Dimuth was also dismissed in a quick succession that left Sri Lanka struggling at 164-4 before the first match’s centurion Mathews and Dhananjaya put up a decent stand to take their score over the 200-run mark.

The first session’s play stopped abruptly as the rain started to pour in Mirpur and it continued for the next couple of hours.

The play finally resumed after a four-hour delay due to the rain and wet outfield but it could not break the concentration of the Sri Lankan experienced duo as they scored runs freely after playing safe for the first few overs in the final session.

The partnership was finally broken by Shakib although Dhananjaya was firstly given not out. A Bangladesh caught behind appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire before the hosts took a review and got the batsman.

Meanwhile, the play of the last two days of the series-deciding Test will start half an hour early in order to manage Wednesday’s lost time.