SL on top despite Tigers fightback

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:39pm on February 09, 2018


Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman (R) celebrates one of his three wickets against Sri Lanka with team-mates on the second day of their second Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday. — Sanaul Haque

Mustafizur Rahman led a late fightback with the ball on Friday but this might not be enough for Bangladesh to prevent a defeat in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka.
Sri Lanka took a complete control in the game, reaching 200-8 at stumps on the second day to stretch their overall lead to 312 runs after they had dismissed Bangladesh cheaply for 110 in the first innings.
Roshen Silva remained unbeaten on 58 with Suranga Lakmal on seven at stumps hoping to pile more runs before setting a target for Bangladesh in what turned out to be a minefield for the batsmen in Mipur.
The highest successful run-chase at the ground is England’s 209-1 against Bangladesh in 2010.
Mustafiz claimed 3-35 in the second innings while spinners Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan picked up two wickets each to keep Bangladesh’s remote chance alive.
Sri Lanka were aware of the value of every run scored on a difficult surface and every batsman tried to chip in despite Bangladesh made
some regular breakthroughs.
Veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak trapped Kusal Mendis leg-before for seven to strike the first blow in the second innings before Taijul and Mustafiz dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva for 28 and Danushka Gunathilaka for 17 respectively.
Mehedi took the important wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne (29) and Dinesh Chandimal (30) after the tea break before Mustafiz took two wickets off successive balls.
Sabbir Rahman denied Mustafiz his third wicket in the same over when he dropped Suranga Lakmal and Sri Lanka took full advantage to take their lead past 300-run mark.
Bangladesh had only themselves to blame after they lost their last five wickets for just three run in the first innings to hand Sri Lanka a massing 112-run lead, which now could very well be a difference between the two teams.
Resuming on 56-4, Mehedi restored the confidence of the team hitting Rangana Herath for six but it faded away quickly once his fellow unbeaten overnight batsman Liton Das dragged an innocuous short-pitch delivery of Lakmal onto his stumps.
Liton could add just one run to his overnight score but Mahmudullah and Mehedi took the score past 100-run mark before the hosts collapsed dramatically.
Akila Dananjaya bowled Mahmudullah for 17 to end his 34-run stand with Mehedi and what followed next was simply a nightmare for the home side.
Sabbir did nothing to justify his selection ahead of Mosaddek Hossain flicking Danajanya to Chandimal at short-midwicket off the third ball to score a duck.
The tail-enders had no idea about how to handle the pressure as Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera wrapped up the innings to give Sri Lanka the upper hand in series deciding contest.
Debutant Dananjaya took 3-20 to give the Sri Lankan players a broad smile which they retained till the end of second day’s play.
Barring a dramatic improvement in Bangladesh’s batting they are in all likelihood going to retain it at the end of the contest too.