The batting domination continued as Sri Lanka managed to pile up a healthy score of 494 runs in their first innings. The middle order played extremely well with Kusal Mendis being the main architect. Bangladesh responded with the bat quite strongly to finish the day on 133 runs for 2 wickets – still, a lot of work has to be done.
First Session –
Sri Lankan batsmen continued their domination with the bat as the pair, Mendis and Dickwella, were picking gaps with ease. The body language of the Bangladeshi players was poor and it reflected on the way the bowled – bowling a lot of short deliveries. Dickwella cruised to his half-century coming at almost run-a-ball whereas Mendis was inching towards his double century.
Mehedi was the only bowler that looked promising. His efforts paid off as he picked up the wicket of Mendis. Mendis tried to get to his double century with a six but was caught by Tamim at long on – falling at 194 runs – what a fantastic inning it has been considering he was given a life when he was at nought when he faced his very first ball.
The flow of runs continued as Dickwella was partnered with Perera. However, it was Miraz again who sent him back at 75 runs. Perera took control until the end of the session taking Sri Lanka to a commanding total of 443 runs. The Lions scored 122 runs losing only 2 wickets with a resounding run-rate of 4.69 per over.
Second Session –
Herath slammed Mustafizur for a boundary on the first delivery after lunch – showing clear signs that they were out to attack. A couple more boundaries were scored before getting caught at the first slip. Perera kept going and reached his half century.
Wickets fell at regular interval as Sri Lanka finished their innings at 494 runs – a grand score considering they lost 3 wickets for 92 runs. The middle order was lead by Mendis along with the likes of Asela, Dickwella and Perera to take Sri Lanka to a huge total. On Bangladesh’s point of view, all the front line bowlers picked up wickets – Mehedi with 4, Mustafizur with 2 and a wicket a piece for Shakib, Taskin and Shubashish. The bowlers looked decent in patches but weren’t consistent enough – could have performed much better.
Bangladeshi openers Tamim and Soumya came out to bat with about 10 overs to survive before tea session. The pair started decently but had a bit of luck with them as Soumya was dropped at gully. It did not take long before the Sri Lankan captain decided to throw spinners into the attack. Tamim didn’t hang back as he took the bowler apart – almost giving away his wicket but for Bangladesh’s relief both the batsmen survived until the end of the session – finishing at 31 runs for no loss.
Third Session –
Tamim and Soumya batted beautifully post ‘cha’ session. They picked gaps with ease to further make the case that this was a good pitch to bat on. The fortune continued as Tamim was dropped by the keeper – The lions had already dropped 2 catches so far. The bowlers did not have much assistance as the batsmen were ticking away comfortably. The pair had surpassed the previous best first wicket partnership and looked to have everything under control – both the batsmen getting through their 50s.
As things looked so comfortable for Bangladesh, Tamim had a brain freeze moment. Sandakan fired the ball down the leg side and it seemed like it clipped of Tamim’s leg – the Sri Lankan players all went up to appeal for the catch. Tamim had no clue where the ball was and set off to run without looking at the non-striker but unfortunately for him, the keeper had the ball, who had the presence of mind to knock off the stumps as he was appealing – resulting in a bizarre run out sending Tamim back for 57 runs.
Mominul joined Soumya hoping to last until the end of the day. However, he was soon trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Perera as Bangladesh lost their second wicket in quick succession. The skipper walked in at his new batting position with the aim to negotiate the final few overs without any further casualties. It looked a bit cagey at times when Sandkhan was bowling as the batters were finding it hard to pick up his deliveries. However, both Mushfiqur and Soumya remained unbeaten at the end of the day with Bangladesh finishing at 133 runs for 2 wickets – 361 runs behind Sri Lanka.
It had been a good cricketing day all round. Bangladesh will hope to continue their good work with the bat tomorrow. It will be a very interesting morning session tomorrow. For Bangladesh’s sake, both Mushfiqur and Soumya needs to bat for a long period and score big.