Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test: Match drawn
February 4, 2018 03:28 pm
Tea Bangladesh 513 and 281 for 5 (Mominul 105, Liton 94) lead Sri Lanka713 for 9 dec by 81 runs
Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh batsman to score two hundreds in the same Test, and Liton Das hit 94, having partnered Mominul in a 180-run stand, but have not quite seen themselves to safety. With 31 overs remaining in the final session, they have five wickets in hand, and lead by 81 runs. Another 10 overs of sensible batting - preferably by the not out pairing of Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain - is required to put victory out of Sri Lanka’s reach for certain.
The afternoon session had begun with a little excitement, when fifth ball, Mominul got a thin under-edge to a Rangana Herath delivery, and presented Sri Lanka with an opportunity to pry apart Bangladesh’s rearguard. That tough chance was spilt by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella however, and Mominul soon regained composure, lofting Lakshan Sandakan down the ground for six several overs later.
All through the first hour after lunch, there were occasional ripping deliveries, but also plenty of the gentle turners that have pleased batsmen from both sides all through this game. Only by grasping every half-chance, perhaps, were either of these teams going to get themselves to a winning position. While this surface has been difficult for fielding teams, both may reflect that they could have done better with the few opportunities that did come their way.
Sandakan would grass two more difficult catches before the session’s end - one at short cover, and the other at deep midwicket.
Nevertheless, Mominul batted on while Liton completed a half-century at the other end. As had been the case in the first innings, there was no sector of the field that he did not access, and rarely did the dot balls pile up when he was on strike. There was a minor slow-down through the 90s, but the century was completed smartly enough, off the 154th ball he faced. In comparison to his uncharacteristically animated first-innings celebrations, Mominul was subdued on this occasion. He merely removed his headgear and raised his bat.
Soon, however, he was out - Dhananjaya de Silva having him prod at a wide, away-turning ball, which resulted in an edge flying to Chandimal at slip. But it was not until later in the session, when Liton fell that a Sri Lanka victory seemed a possibility again. Presumably trying to reach his century with a six, Liton gave a Herath delivery a mighty wallop, only for Dilruwan Perera to track the ball back from mid on, to take an excellent catch over his shoulder.
One final nervous moment for Bangladesh in the session: when Sri Lanka were convinced Mosaddek Hossain had edged Perera behind. Their review was unsuccessful, however.
Mominul and Liton’s work in the morning session - where they batted securely to almost wipe out Sri Lanka’s lead - will perhaps turn out to be the definitive session of the day, so long as nothing dramatic happens soon after tea.