Top-order blitz takes Sri Lanka to 314-4 in Bangladesh Test

Published March 31, 2024
Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne is clean bowled by Bangladesh pacer Hasan Mahmud during the second Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Saturday.—AFP
Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne is clean bowled by Bangladesh pacer Hasan Mahmud during the second Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Saturday.—AFP

CHITTAGONG: A top-order batting blitz took Sri Lanka to 314-4 and left the tourists firmly in command on the opening day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh on Saturday.

Kusal Mendis top-scored with 93 in Chittagong, while openers Dimuth Karunaratne (86) and Nishan Madushka (57) also helped power the innings.

“Of course we are happy,” Karunaratne said. “That’s a good score for day one. If we can put on a good total next day, we are in a commanding position.”

Dinesh Chandimal was batting on 34 alongside skipper Dhananjaya de Silva on 15 at stumps.

Bangladesh struggled to make an impact after being asked to bowl, with Sri Lanka batting through the morning session without losing a wicket.

But Bangladesh wasted chances. Madushka was dropped on 9 when Mahmudul Hasan put down a straightforward chance off Hasan Mahmud at second slip. Karunaratne was also lucky to survive when he top-edged Mahmud’s delivery but Shakib Al Hasan fumbled the ball over the boundary line to give the batter a six.

Madushka reached his second Test fifty off 80 balls, when he punched off-spinner Mehidy Hasan to mid-off for a single.

But just after his half-century, he was run out attempting a double after sharing a 96-run opening stand with Karunaratne.

Karunaratne raised his 37th Test half-century off 93 balls. He and Mendis further frustrated Bangladesh’s bowlers, sharing 114 for the second wicket.

Debutant Hasan sent back Karunaratne, who chopped a delivery into the stumps before the tea break.

Karunaratne struck eight fours and a six in his 129-ball innings, surviving a run-out scare on 18 after a mix-up with Madushka while taking a single off Hasan.

He said the wicket in Chittagong had been flat in previous years.

“But this year you see there are some turn and seam with the new ball as well,” Karunaratne said. “There are some advantages for the bowlers as well. So I think it might turn later on, day three, four, five, maybe ... There’s a result on this wicket”

Mendis, who brought up his 18th Test fifty off 87 balls, appeared to be heading toward his 10th century. However, after sharing 53 runs with Angelo Mathews, Mendis was baffled by the turn that Shakib extracted from the pitch, forcing an edge to Mehidy Hasan at second slip. He hit 11 fours and one six in his innings.

Hasan picked up his second wicket when Mehidy caught Mathews (23) from the same spot in the first over after the second new ball.

Chandimal struck two sixes to move past his early shakiness before helping Sri Lanka pass the 300-run mark with a four off Hasan.

“We created chances in the morning, didn’t capitalise on that,” Bangladesh bowling coach Andre Adams said. “It’s the same story as the first Test match. Dropping catches is something that’s going to cost us ... For us to compete and be excellent, we need to be excellent for longer.””

Sri Lanka lead the two-match series 1-0 after winning the opening Test by a resounding 328 runs.

Veteran all-rounder Shakib returned for Bangladesh after a long Test absence.

Shakib and Hasan — who played 39 white-ball matches for Bangladesh before making his test debut here — replaced fast bowlers Nahid Rana and Shoriful Islam for the hosts.

Sri Lanka brought Asitha Fernando in for injured Kasun Rajitha in their only change to the squad from the opening Test.

SCOREBOARD

SRI LANKA (1st Innings):

N. Madushka run out 57

D. Karunaratne b Hasan 86

K. Mendis c Mehidy b Shakib 93

A. Mathews c Mehidy b Hasan 23

D. Chandimal not out 34

D. de Silva not out 15

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-2) 6

TOTAL (for four wickets, 90 overs) 314

TO BAT: K. Mendis, P. Jayasuriya, A. Fernando, L. Kumara, V. Fernando.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-96 (Madushka), 2-210 (Karunaratne), 3-263 (Kusal), 4-289 (Mathews).

BOWLING: Khaled 10-1-41-0, Hasan 17-5-64-2, Shakib 18-2-60-1, Mehidy 28-4-95-0, Taijul 17-4-48-0.

BANGLADESH: Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Zakir Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2024

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