Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Mirpur, 3rd day January 29, 2014

Jayawardene, Vithanage help SL surge to 498 lead


Bangladesh 232 and 35 for 1 trail Sri Lanka 730 for 6 dec (Jayawardene 203*, Mathews 86, Vithanage 103*) by 463 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Individual milestones dominated the most one-sided of the three days so far as Sri Lanka eventually declared after piling on a whopping 730 for 6, after Mahela Jayawardene reached his seventh double-century and Kithuruwan Vithanage scored his maiden century in only his third Test. By tea, Sri Lanka were already ahead by a healthy 370, but the captain Angelo Mathews held back the declaration till Jayawardene reached his milestone, giving Sri Lanka a seemingly unassailable lead of 498. Sri Lanka picked up a late wicket to cap another dominant day.

Bangladesh had been on the field since the final session on the first day and the physical and mental fatigue was apparent with the way they carried themselves on the third day, as if waiting to be told when to head indoors and pad up. Their specialist seamers weren't effective enough and their spinners too were at the mercy of Sri Lanka's in-form batting line-up. There was little the part-timers could do. It's normal for captains to give their bowlers at least an hour before stumps to nip out a few wickets, but Mathews adopted a more conservative approach and instead was happy to give the hosts nine overs. In that period, Bangladesh lost Tamim to a reckless shot.

Mathews had a chance to add to the centuries tally, before falling for 86. Jayawardene continued to milk the bowling in placid conditions and he brought out his signature late cut and paddle sweep against the spinners. Having begun his innings overnight, he brought up his fifty with an effortless cover drive off Al-Amin Hossain. He moved to the 90s with an impeccable reverse sweep off Sohag Gazi that went for a boundary. He sped towards his century with a late cut off the part-time legspinner Marshall Ayub and followed it up with another boundary in the same region, off Robiul Islam. The seamer dished out a long hop down the leg side which Jayawardene pulled to fine leg to bring up his century.

He barely gave the bowlers a chance, until he survived a close shout for lbw off Gazi on 119. Jayawardene attempted another reverse sweep and was struck adjacent to the stumps with the ball pitching in line with the stumps despite the round the wicket angle. Gazi was exasperated when it was turned down but it summed up Bangladesh's day.

Mathews too survived, when on 68 he edged Ayub and was dropped by the wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. Mathews capitalised on Robiul's poor length, pulling a short one down the leg side and driving the next one down the ground for consecutive boundaries. He had a century for the taking but chipped Gazi towards midwicket where Ayub took a sharp catch.

Vithanage made merry given the carefree situation and along with Jayawardene, helped take the score past 600. Vithanage made a fifty on debut, against the same team last year in a similar pressure-free scenario. His inclusion in this Test was due to Prasanna Jayawardene's departure due to his father's death. And Vithanage made good use of this unexpected opportunity. The left-hander was busy at the crease, rocking back to cut the spinners through the off side when they dropped it short. He came down the track to the spinners and tonked two sixes down the ground.

The new ball didn't give Bangladesh any respite as a couple of short balls were dispatched for fours behind square leg by Vithanage, who brought up his fifty with one of those. Luck was on his side as two outside edges by Vithanage found the third man boundary, one of which bisected the keeper and first slip, both of whom were unmoved.

Vithanage brought up his ton with a square cut for four off Nasir and at that stage, Jayawardene was still 17 short of a double-century. Jayawardene batted with greater urgency after tea, shuffling across his stumps to sweep the spinners and he raced to his double-ton in style, with two sixes over deep midwicket off Nasir. Jayawardene, in the process, overtook the Australian Allan Border's tally of 11,174 runs and is now the sixth-highest run-getter in Tests.

Neither pace nor spin worked for Bangladesh, and their frustration in not being able to pick up wickets was summed up in one small passage of play in the morning when Robiul Islam exchanged words with Jayawardene, making the umpires and Rahim intervene to appease the situation.

They now face the task of batting out two days. Tamim's dismissal, caught off a leading edge to point, was perhaps the last thing they needed. The best they can do is take a leaf out of Sri Lanka's book and use the conditions to play themselves in and grind out the opposition.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    Why this double standard when comparing 'big' players? If centuries are yardsticks to a player's greatness, why not double centuries? Only because a certain player was better at the former? Actually the big number of winless centuries of this player is a matter of his conversion rate too, apart from his team's infamous inability to take 20 wickets. His away record too is not as good as it's made out to be; he relies too much on a rather sub continent-like Sydney to make his records in Oz look decent. DB has hit 12 double hundreds in 52 tests, which is awesome. Actually it's 200 rather than 100 that should be considered for greatness since you rarely end up on the losing side after scoring one, even if your side is weak. As for home/away records, see how this player's ODI records compare with say Viv's, if you want a real picture. I'd not have dragged his name at all, if some people had stayed away from belittling MJ in favor of him. Belittling him in favor of MJ too is as unacceptable.

  • Zain on January 30, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Thats Mahela for you, and i think Sri lanka may Have learned some lesson from their last Battle against our Pakistani men, Surely they are trying to earn Their lost Pride and From my point of View they might have Succeeded in doing so.....

  • Sujan on January 30, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    @SL_rockz : Your comment is in very poor taste. Yeah surely Mahela & Sanga will surely top test charts, but for that they will have to play 5match series with BD & ZIM every year, as the Big3(irrespective of how much I hate their bullying tactics) will anyway won't play against SL. To some point one has to agree that Sachin piled up such wonderful numbers purely because of his longevity. But it surely takes a lot of motivation & hunger to keep playing for so long. Others would have got disillusioned & given up. That too goes to show how much he loved the game. And the fact that he did it without ever uttering a word against anybody or getting involved in any controversy on & off the field over such a long span of time is appreciable.

  • Syed on January 30, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    One team was playing test and the other was T20, match is just over. I think it was a T(test)20 match, not a test match. Last wicket partnership was entertaining.

  • Banuchandar on January 30, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    I also predict sanga or mahela cant hit a century in that tour. Just answer this quiz friends. Dont compare to other teams. Am a srilankan so i know what happnd here, look at the stats in s.a thilan samaraweera average well, but he is forcd to retire. Yes sanga and mahela most stylish and elegant players in the world, but also we have to accept the loopholes of them.

  • Android on January 30, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    @Dilip Waghuwhatever Wow!!! So if Sanga and Mahela were good enough to lower their home averages they would have been "legends" right?

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    @Optimistix Ok then heres the number of tests in each country before a win, SL in England (16th year) 4th match they won India in England (32nd year 19th match), SL in SA 29 years and 9th match India in SA 74 years 12th match, SL in Aus yet to win a game played 12 years India in Australia 45 years 14th match. I think now I made my point. crickinfo please publish

  • David on January 30, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    What kind of field setting is this? Five wickets down, new batters, over 350 runs lead, 10 minutes for lunch and the field is spread. No pressure whatsoever applied on batsmen. When SL had 350 runs on the board and BD captain had a silly mid-on and forward short leg even for Mahela, that's what is called putting pressure on.

  • Jerry on January 30, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Great batting by Sri Lanka. Looking forward to seeing the names of Mahela and Sanga at number 2 & 3 in most runs scored in Test cricket after SRT. If Mahela got more opportunities to play against non subcontinent teams, he would have got his average up against these teams. He a true legend of the game.

  • Yohan on January 30, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    Happy with the way SL carried on . They got runs at pace enough to reserve 2 days to bowl Bangladesh out . Mahela does not miss much when he gets in , so his double ton is not a surprise . But i value Kaushal s and Kithruwan s tons . these guys are taking the challenge of batting post-seniors era . Once Thirimanne comes our batting line will be Dimuth , Kaushal , Thiri , Chandi , Angi ,Kithuwan , Prasanna . but they have to proove them ok in aussie , kiwi , engladn too. Spare a thought for Bangladesh - with the fear of relegation , i thought Bangladesh would do best to express themselves . instead this was ordinary effort with poor strokes , lose bowling ,drop catches and so on . like the effort of young pacer Al amin hussain

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