Double-ton for Rahim as draw looms

Bangladesh

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladeshi to score a Test century, as the series opener against Sri Lanka meandered toward a draw at the Galle International Stadium on Monday.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladeshi to score a Test century, as the series opener against Sri Lanka meandered toward a draw at the Galle International Stadium on Monday.

Day four was lined with records, which included Rahim's graduation to 200 on the back of a 267-run stand alongside former skipper Mohammad Ashraful, who cherished the nation's second-highest score of 190. The in-form Nasir Hossain, meanwhile, welcomed a maiden Test ton.

Bangladesh's 638 all out weighed in as their largest ever, beating last year's 556 against the West Indies in Dhaka by a veritable Country Mile – and afforded them a handy 68-run lead in response to Sri Lanka's first-innings effort of 570 for nine declared.

The hosts, in turn, replied with 116 for one – removing the deficit and reaching a helpful 48-run advantage at the close of play. Both teams will admit, though, the pitch on offer is entirely flat, void of genuine threat to the batsmen. Host opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and first-innings centurion Kumar Sangakkara, for their 63 not out and unbeaten 49 respectively, will know three-figure proportions are in the offing.

All eyes were on Ashraful in the morning sessoin, as he resumed 11 short of the landmark, but he added just one run before being dismissed for 10 shy of a double-ton. Mushfiqur, 152 not out overnight, did complete the job, though. He made exactly 200, with 22 fours and a six, while Hossain cherished half as much.

Ashraful was first to fall, lingering for five overs before charging Rangana Herath and edging to slip where Angelo Mathews held on. Hossain got off the mark with a four, while Mushfiqur quickly set about adding to his own tally.

Both men found the boundaries with regularity as the Sri Lankan bowlers struggled to win the battle against unhelpful conditions. Spin duo Herath and Ajantha Mendis would have been particularly disappointed at the lack of pitch deterioration on the penultimate day.

Hossain needed just 61 balls to bring up his half-century, including five fours, but the focus was on Mushfiqur. A swept four off Mendis took him past Ashraful's mark but he went scoreless from his final six deliveries of the session to reach lunch on 198.

He wasted no time after the restart, picking up two singles in quick time to etch his name in the history books. The moment may have been too much for the diminutive wicketkeeper, though, and he was gone three balls later without adding another run – Nuwan Kulasekara with an lbw dismissal.

Sohag Gazi chipped in with a breezy 21 before falling to Mendis, while Hossain continued fluently at the other end. His ton occupied 147 balls before he turned Tillakaratne Dilshan to midwicket. Dilshan also claimed Elias Sunny for a duck before Shaminda Eranga wrapped up a memorable innings by bowling Shahadat Hossain.

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