CHITTAGONG: Mushfiqur Rahim struck his eighth Test century and became the first Bangladeshi to pass 5,000 runs as the hosts took the upper hand in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong on Wednesday.
Bangladesh were all out for 465 runs with a first-innings lead of 68 when last man Shoriful Islam was unable to carry on his innings after a blow to the hand while batting.
Mushfiqur reached his career milestone in the morning session when he nudged Fernando towards fine-leg for two runs, to cheers from a sparse crowd at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
“It is a great feeling to become the first Bangladeshi to reach 5,000 Test runs. But I am sure I am not the last one,” Mushfiqur said after the day’s play.
“There’ll be a lot of capable players among our seniors and juniors who can reach 8,000 or 10,000 runs.”
The 35-year old right-hander later glanced Fernando for his fourth boundary to bring up his hundred, making the most significant contribution in Bangladesh’s innings on the day with 105 off 282 balls before Embuldeniya bowled him in the third over of the final session.
Following the Bangladesh innings, Sri Lanka lost two early wickets to reach 39-2 in 17.1 overs in their second innings before stumps were drawn on the fourth day, reducing their deficit to 29.
Oshada Fernando was run out for 19 with a direct throw by Taijul Islam from midwicket.
The left-arm spinner later bowled nightwatchman Lasith Embuldeniya for two and stumps were taken immediately after with Dimuth Karunaratne 18 not out at the other end.
Embuldeniya was earlier given out caught at silly point off Taijul on the same score but he survived on review.
The hosts were hoping for some quick runs before a possible declaration after Liton and Mushfiqur survived the opening session of the day to share 165 runs for the third wicket.
But pace bowler Kasun Rajitha led the Sri Lankan bowling attack with 4-60, playing the match as a concussion substitute for Vishwa Fernando.
Rajitha dismissed Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal in the first two balls after lunch before Asitha Fernando removed Shakib Al Hasan for 26 to halt Bangladesh’s progress.
“Our team goal was to get as close as possible to their score,” Mushfiqur said.
“We couldn’t take a big enough lead but the credit goes to their fast bowlers who bowled well on this wicket. I am happy that we batted well after fielding for two days.”
Liton fell for 88 right after the break chasing a Rajitha ball wide outside the off-stump only to edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Tamim, who retired after scoring 133 runs on the third day, returned after Liton’s dismissal but survived just one ball.
Rajitha swung the ball sharply in to uproot the middle stump as Tamim ended his 218-ball innings that featured 15 boundaries.
Shakib gave a catch at forward short leg on seven off Ramesh Mendis which fell just short of the fielder. He hit three quick boundaries to show some intent and just when he started looking dangerous, Fernando struck.
The right-arm pace bowler beat Shakib with a short ball which took a top-edge and became Dickwella’s fourth catch in the innings.
After Mushfiqur’s dismissal, Taijul added 20 off 45 balls.
He was removed by Fernando, who returned figures of 3-72, before Sri Lanka wrapped up the Bangladesh innings.
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 397 (Angelo Mathews 199, Dinesh Chandimal 66, Kusal Mendis 54; Nayeem Hasan 6-105, Shakib Al Hasan 3-60)
BANGLADESH (1st Innings, overnight 318-3):
Mahmudul Hasan c Dickwella b Fernando 58
Tamim Iqbal b Rajitha 133
Najmul Hossain c Dickwella b Rajitha 1
Mominul Haque b Rajitha 2
Mushfiqur Rahim b Embuldeniya 105
Liton Das c Dickwella b Rajitha 88
Shakib Al Hasan c Dickwella b Fernando 26
Nayeem Hasan c Kusal b de Silva 9
Taijul Islam c sub b Fernando 20
Shoriful Islam retired out 3
Khaled Ahmed not out 0
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-8, NB-8) 20
TOTAL (all out, 170.1 overs) 465
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-162 (Mahmudul), 2-172 (Najmul), 3-184 (Mominul), 4-385 (Liton Das), 5-385 (Tamim), 6-421 (Shakib), 7-439 (Mushfiqur), 8-450 (Nayeem), 9-465 (Taijil)
BOWLING: Vishwa Fernando 8-0-42-0; Asitha Fernando 26-4-72-3 (4nb); Ramesh Mendis 45-10-119-0; Lasith Embuldeniya 47-9-104-1 (1nb); Dhananjaya de Silva
19-2-48-1; Kasun Rajitha 24.1-6-60-4 (3nb); Kusal Mendis 1-0-8-0
SRI LANKA (2nd Innings):
Oshada Fernando run out 19
Dimuth Karunaratne not out 18
Lasith Embuldeniya b Taijul 2
TOTAL (for two wickets, 17.1 overs) 39
STILL TO BAT: Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Kasun Rajitha
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-36 (Oshada), 2-39 (Taijul)
BOWLING (to-date): Nayeem 9-3-21-0; Khaled 1-0-6-0; Shakib 6-3-12-0; Taijul 1.1-1-0-1
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022