Lakshan Sandakan and Suranga Lakmal struck late on day two to peg back the Bangladeshi charge in the 2nd Test at the P Sara Oval earlier today. At stumps the visitors were 214/5, trailing by 124, with Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al-Hasan at the crease.
Up until the 57th over of the Bangladeshi innings, it looked to be very much the visitor’s day as they started strong on what was looking exceedingly like a good surface for batting. Once again it was the openers who put on a solid foundation as Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar looked at ease against the Sri Lankan bowlers during the post lunch session as they posted their 3rd consecutive 50+ stand in as many innings on tour.
Bangladesh were cruising on 97/0 a few minutes before Tea when Tamim, on 49, played all around a Rangana Herath delivery and was wrapped on his pads. Although umpire Aleem Dar ruled the decision in favour of the batsman, Herath had no hesitation in going upstairs and Sri Lanka had their breakthrough as replays showed the ball hitting leg stump.
Imrul Kayes, brought into the team in place of Mominul Haque, too looked comfortable at the crease as he and Sarkar put on a further 35 runs before the latter was sucked into a drive by Sandakan and was bowled through the gap between bat and pad. Sarkar has now made 3 fifties in as many innings but will be kicking himself for not having gone on to make a big score.
Kayes and Sabbir Rahman seemed to be taking the visitors to stumps in a dominant position with a 62 run partnership when Sandakan removed Kayes with another wrong-un. Bangladesh sent in a nightwatchman in the form of Taijul Islam but he was sent packing immediately as Sandakan beat the bat once again and had him given out LBW on review.
Lakmal had Sabbir fending off a short ball to leg gully, to give Sri Lanka their 3rd wicket in 2 overs.
Shakib smashed Sandakan’s hattrick ball to the boundary but was given a life by Upul Tharanga in the very next over, as the latter failed to latch onto a relatively straightforward catch at deep square; a miss that could yet prove to be very costly.
Earlier in the day Suranga Lakmal made a 44 ball 35 after a valiant ton by Dinesh Chandimal to take Sri Lanka to 338 all out at lunch. Sri Lanka began the day on the overnight score of 238/7 with Chandimal and Herath at the crease and pair took the hosts’ total to 250 before Herath was caught by Soumya Sarkar at slip off the bowling of Shakib Al-Hasan. The breakthrough only brought more frustration for the visitors as between Chandimal farming the strike and Suranga Lakmal’s solid defense, Sri Lanka’s score grew to more respectable heights. Chandimal’s 300 ball vigil which yielded 138 was ended when he top edged a Mehedi Hasan delivery to Mosaddek Hossain.
Lakmal then went on a scoring spree with Mehedi Hasan baring the brunt of the attack as the former took him for 15 in the 112th over. Bangladesh eventually ended the innings after bringing on Subashish Roy, who got Lakmal to top edge to third man.