Chandimal keeps Sri Lanka in it
A combative unbeaten knock of 86 from Dinesh Chandimal helped Sri Lanka end day one of the second Test against Bangladesh just about even on a sporting P Sara Oval pitch in Colombo.
The Tigers had Sri Lanka in trouble at 70/4 when lunch was taken with two Mehedi Hasan wickets sandwiched between strikes from Mustafizur Rahman and Subashis Roy.
Dimuth Karunratne (7) was the first to go as he flashed away from his body and was caught in the gully by Mehedi off the bowling of Mustafizur.
Mehedi produced a brilliantly flighted ball that beat first Test hero Kusal Mendis (5) who lunged forward and couldn’t get back into his crease before Mushfiqur Rahim removed the bails.
The leggie then had Upul Tharanga (11) caught at slip to reduce Sri Lanka to 35/3 and the hosts were on the back foot early.
It looked as though Chandimal and Asela Gunaratne (13) would guide Sri Lanka to lunch without any further loss but with the break looming Subashis struck the latter on the pad and the finger went up brining the curtain down on the first session.
Bangladesh were made to work harder for their wickets between lunch and tea with Sri Lanka making excellent use of DRS throughout the day with Chandimal using a referral to save himself when he had 38 and was adjudged to have been caught at slip, replays showed the ball narrowly missing the bat and ball tracking confirmed it was not out on leg before as well.
Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva (34), who came into the XI for quick bowler Lahiru Kumara, put on 66 for the fifth wicket.
Taijul Islam eventually accounted for Dhanajaya who misjudged the length and went on the pull only to be bowled to leave Sri Lanka 136 for 5.
Niroshan Dickwella (34) was typically aggressive and equally typically threw his wicket away with a poorly executed reverse sweep, he failed to make contact and was bowled around his legs by Shakib-al-Hasan.
When Dilruwan Perera (9) edged one to second slip it seemed Bangladesh had exposed the soft underbelly of the Lankan Lions but Rangana Herath (18 not out) and Chandimal had other ideas.
The pair’s stubborn resistance saw Sri Lanka move to 238/7 when a gathering storm forced the players from the field in the 84th over of the day.
Mustafizur ended the day as the pick of the bowlers with his figures of 2/32.
Bangladesh seemed to fade as the day went on which will buoy Sri Lanka.
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