Sri Lankan batting consultant Thilan Samaraweera on Thursday suggested that the second Test against Bangladesh was still in balance despite the visitors picking up four wickets at the end of opening day’s play in Mirpur.
Bangladesh bowled out Sri Lanka cheaply for 222 in 66 overs but soon found them in deep trouble when they lost four of their top batsmen Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim with only 56 runs on board.
‘I think the game is still balanced because we have to take another six wickets, we have to bat another innings and we have to bowl them out in another innings,’ Samaraweera said after opening day’s play.
Suranga Lakmal took 2-15 and Dilruwan Perera finished the day with 1-25 to help the visitors bounce back into the contest after four wickets each from left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak and Taijul Islam helped Bangladesh bowl out Sri Lanka in little over two sessions.
Though Sri Lanka have a good chance to take a vital first innings lead, Samaraweera was not prepared to take anything for granted.
‘For me, I think we were 30 runs short. Normally, on a Dhaka wicket 240, 250 is a very good score,’ he said.
Samarweera, who scored 90 and 62 in his only Test at Mirpur in 2008, was reluctant to brand the wicket as unplayable and was rather happy to get this after what many thought a boring run fest in Chittagong.
‘This is the Dhaka pitch. You can’t say unplayable. Test cricket is dying these days, and you have to produce result pitches. I think I am happier with this than the Chittagong one,’ said Samaraweera.
He reckoned that the first two hours on the second day would be very important for both of the sides as this could turn the game for anyone’s favour.
‘Bangladesh dominated their cricket in Mirpur. Very hard to say which team are favourites, but whatever we do we have to do well tomorrow [today]. First two hours is crucial and it’s hard to say [whether it’s] favourable for us,’ Samaraweera said.
Samaraweera thanked opener Kushal Mendis for his crucial 68 and the lower-order batsmen as they took the side from 110-6 to 222.
‘The biggest thing is Kusal Mendis’s 60 . That 60 came very quickly, it was a massive part of the batting because on this pitch it was not easy to score fast, but he batted on a different track in the morning,’ said Samaraweera.
‘We have to give credit to the tail-enders and Roshen Silva, they batted well,’ he added.
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