Pitch is still good for batting, insists Herath

Sri Lanka finished say 2 at 187/1, in reply to Bangladesh's first innings total of 513. © AFP

Rangana Herath, the Sri Lankan left-arm spinner, believes that the Chittagong pitch is still good for batting but cautioned the batsmen to be wary of spin considering the way it behaved towards the latter part of Day 2 of the first Test on Thursday (February 1).

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Sri Lanka came up with a spirited reply to Bangladesh’s first-innings total of 513 as Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis put on an unbeaten 187-run stand for the second wicket to bring the deficit down to 326 at stumps.

Terming it as an evenly-poised contest, Herath said Sri Lanka’s primary objective is to wipe out the deficit before charting the course forward in the ongoing Test.

“I still see it as a batsman-friendly wicket. They made 500-plus and we are 180 for 1 (187 for 1),” Herath told reporters at Chittagong. “We first need to score the 300 (326) runs we are behind. After that, we can see what kind of surface it becomes. From there we can decide which direction we can go (in). There’s something for the spinners from the third day onwards. I could see some turn even after tea today,” Herath pointed out.

Read : De Silva & Mendis strengthens Sri Lanka reply

Bangladesh’s first innings revolved around contributions from Mominul (176), Mushfiqur Rahim (92) and Mahmudullah (83 not out). The skipper’s knock was pivotal in Bangladesh finishing with a 500-plus total as he batted well with the lower order after Bangladesh lost early wickets on Day 2. Terming Mominul’s innings as a special one, Herath also appreciated the efforts of Mahmudullah and Rahim.

“Mominul made 176 runs, which I think was a special innings. It is a big achievement. Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah batted well. It is still a good batting wicket,” Herath said. “It looks like an even contest now. We need to score the 300 runs first before getting into any kind of situation.”