Tigers on the verge of defeat in 2nd Test against Sri Lanka
DHAKA, —A dismal batting show on an increasingly deteriorating pitch putt Bangladesh at the knife-edge of a defeat in the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
While the pitch played at its trick as it was expected, Bangladesh batsmen also came up with mindless batting to dig their own graveyards.
Before the bad light stopped the day four’s game on Sunday and helped them to stretch the game to the fifth day, Bangladesh was on 177-5, chasing an improbable target of 437. Liton Das was batting on 14 with Mehidy Hasan Miraz on 4.
Bangladesh still needs 260 with five wickets at hands for a highest successful chase in Test cricket history, which is now 418, achieved by West Indies against Australia.
But with the spinners getting vicious turn and bounce, a record-breaking win looks highly unlikely.
Tamim Iqbal gave Bangladesh a fluent start once again but this time he failed to extend his streak of half-century to fifth as off-spinner Ramesh Mendis got his outside edge with a lovely flighted delivery. Before being out, Tamim scored 24 off 26 with three fours and one six.
Saif Hasan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto then played with caution and aggression but more importantly looked comfortable against the Lankan spinners, who utilized the crack and rough of the pitch to good effect to confuse the batsmen.
Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, the wrecker-in-chief of Bangladesh’s first innings with 6-92, then dealt a double strike, removing Saif for 34 and Shanto for 26.
While Saif perished to a bad, Shanto left a huge gap in his bat and bad, despite sensing the ball would turn viciously.
Situation got worsened for Bangladesh in the post Tea session as Mendis rattled the stump skipper Mominul for 32 with a delivery that turned hugely.
Mushfiqur Rahim, the senior most batsman here played nicely until he paid the price of his indecisiveness when Mendis got a huge turn once again. Mushfiqur 40 off 63 was laced with five boundaries.
Mendis however ended the day with 3-86 while Jayawickrama returned figures of 2-58.
Earlier resuming the day on 17-2, Sri Lanka declared their second innings on 194-9, setting a 437-run target for Bangladesh to win the match and the series.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne led the charge again and scored 66, following his 244 in the only innings of first and 118 in the first innings of this Test.
He rallied the side despite the relentless attack of Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who scalped 5-72, his eighth five-for in his career. Mehidy Hasan Miraz gave him the apt support with 2-66.
Taijul and Miraz basically prevented Lankan batsmen from absolute carnage. However Karunaratne was aided by Dhanajaya de Silva’s 41.
Sri Lanka declared their first innings on 493-7 before wrapping up Bangladesh for 251, thanks to Jayawickrama’s debut six-for.