Brilliant centuries from Angelo Mathews (145 not out) and Dinesh Chandimal (124) put Sri Lanka in a fine position against Bangladesh on the fourth day of the second Test here on Thursday.
Twin tons from two experienced batsmen gave Sri Lanka a massive lead of 141. The bowlers inflicted significant damage in the final hour of the game as Bangladesh trailed by 107 runs at 34/4 at stumps.
Resuming Day 4 at 282/5, still 83 behind Bangladesh, Mathews and Chandimal got off to a positive start, hitting two fours and a six in the opening five overs. His approach then became much more cautious, but despite this, he made sure not to ‘dry’ runs, constantly swinging the strike and removing the occasional boundary.
Chandimal completed his half-century at lunchtime and both the batsmen broke into the break adding 87 runs to the overnight score, giving Sri Lanka a slim four-run lead.
They continued on after the break. Mathews was extremely observant in his 90s, taking 27 balls to go from 93 to his second century of the series. He was twice saved by the DRS on either side of his century – he was caught behind on 94 but replays showed there was no lead. An ICC report said that when Mathews was on 105, the umpire raised his finger again and he seemed to be stuck in front, but Snicko came to his rescue, a clear spike as the ball passed through the bat. Showed.
At the other end, Chandimal, who took 118 balls to make his half-century, was much more aggressive after the milestone. His next 50 runs came in just 63 balls and he completed his 12th Test century.
It was a pitch for Bangladesh bowlers that offered nothing for the fast bowlers and had very little spin in the opening round, while it was four wickets a day. Mathews and Chandimal did singles and doubles doubles during the second session, while also finding boundaries when given the opportunity. Sri Lanka went into tea at 459/5, leaving the hosts ahead by 94 runs.
The Tigers finally broke in the second over of the final session, with Abadot Hossain deceiving Chandimal (124) off a slow ball. Shakib Al Hasan scored two runs at the other end and Niroshan Dickwella was dismissed for 9.
The boundary was coming thick and fast for Sri Lanka but they kept on losing wickets too. Before Hussain dismissed Ramesh Mendis for 10, Shakib trapped Praveen Jayawickrama to complete his 19th Test five-wicket haul in the very next over. Asitha Fernando was the last to be run out at the non-striker’s end in an attempt to keep Mathews on strike, who was trapped for an unbeaten 145.
In reply, Bangladesh had a difficult time looking past the stumps, and suffered a scary start in their second innings, when Tamim Iqbal fell for a duck while collecting a pair in the match. Two overs later, a direct hit from Jayavikrama sent off Najmul Hossain. Shanto back to the hut. Mominul Haque chased him down for a duck in the very next over, in which DRS came to Sri Lanka’s aid.
Fernando produced a delivery that Mahmudul Hasan defended, leaving a simple catch at slip by Kusal Mendis. Bangladesh were reduced to 23/4 before Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das made sure there was no further loss.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 365 and 34/4 506 all-out over Sri Lanka (Matthews 145 not out, Chandimal 124; Shakib 5-96, Abadot 4-148) trail by 107 runs