Centurion Mushfiqur Rahim provides Bangladesh lead over Sri Lanka
CHATTOGRAM – Mushfiqur Rahim struck his eighth test century and became the first Bangladeshi to pass 5000 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.
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 for two 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. 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 fine, 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.
Scores in brief
SRI LANKA 39-2 (Karunaratne 18*, O Fernando 19, Taijul 1-1) and 397 trail BANGLADESH 465-9d (Tamim 133, Mushfiqur 105, Litton 88, Mahmudul 58, Rajitha 4-60, Asitha 3-72) by 29 runs.