Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 1st day February 4, 2014

Sangakkara 160* leads Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka 314 for 5 (Sangakkara 160*, M Jayawardene 72) v Bangladesh
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A seamless 178-run union between Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene formed the centrepiece of Sri Lanka's familiar dominance on the first day in Chittagong. Having been joined with Sri Lanka in minor strife on 49 for 2, Sri Lanka's senior pair bent a torpid Chittagong surface and a spin-heavy Bangladesh attack to their will, through a combination of cricketing nous and batting instinct.

Sangakkara finished the day unbowed at 160, after two late wickets weakened Sri Lanka's chokehold. Jayawardene had fallen for 72 early in the third session to Mahmudullah, who was one of four frontline spinners Bangladesh played - having anticipated the nature of the pitch. Al-Amin Hossain was the only seam bowler.

Having drawn level with Sangakkara's 33 tons in Mirpur, Jayawardene had hoped his team-mate would eclipse him once more in Chittagong, but for most of their time together, it appeared as if both were destined for triple figures. Sangakkara's hundred drew him equal with Brian Lara and Sunil Gavaskar at fifth on the century-maker's list. His runs had come in spurts, like the undulations of a melody. Jayawardene - slower and steadier - held rhythm, finding a greater percentage of his score in the outfield.

Sangakkara's most profitable stroke was his pull. Rarely did he fail to slink back and wallop any spinner that pitched it short - which Mahmudullah and Sohag Gazi did frequently. All three of his sixes came over deep midwicket - the second of which propelled him beyond fifty for the seventh time in as many innings against Bangladesh.

Though Jayawardene had taken time to adjust to the pitch's pace, jamming down late on three Al-Amin deliveries in the morning, Sangakkara had unpicked it almost immediately. Often he flitted quickly into position when he saw a poor ball, but delayed his stroke whenever it slowed markedly off the track. It was the sort of surface on which batsmen may never feel set, but the almost complete absence of false strokes in Sangakkara's 245-ball stay was tribute to his enduring concentration.

The stone most often thrown at Jayawardene is that he makes his runs on generous decks, but in difficult conditions favouring spin, his batting so often seems effortless. The spinners fed him enough loose balls after his mild travails against the seamer, and he soon slipped into the kind of slow-pitch reverie that is a familiar sight in Galle or at the SSC. Sangakkara played calculating cricket, darting down the track to hit bowlers off their length, but Jayawardene's method was mass-hypnosis. When Mahmudullah spun one more than expected to strike him in front of middle and leg, he had been in his breezy monotone for hours.

There was turn from the track as well, but it was of the slow variety batsmen find easier to contend with, and Bangladesh did not deliver enough good balls in a stretch to mount significant pressure. That had been part of their undoing in Mirpur as well. Gazi began the day bravely, putting his balls in the air and hoping for something unusual for the surface. He generated decent turn in his opening spell, but though he dismissed Kaushal Silva, his overs became flatter and faster as the day wore on.

Shakib Al Hasan was the most expensive frontline bowler, conceding 70 from his 15 overs - largely because he could not settle on a consistent length. Mahmudullah suffered from the same malaise, to a lesser extent, but his line was better in comparison. Abdur Razzak bowled only one four-over spell, in the morning, before he left the field with a strain in his left hamstring in the 37th over.

Bangladesh might have had hopes of dismissing Sri Lanka for under 300, when they sent back both openers in the first session. Silva was undone by the low bounce, as his sweep shot passed over the ball, which struck him in front of the stumps.

Dimuth Karunaratne had been positive at the other end, finding runs into his favoured leg side and dealing with the vagaries of the surface with security and confidence. But his inability to convert starts at this level persisted. On 31, he hit a short wide one from Al-Amin directly to the man at point, and sunk to his haunches in disappointment before exiting. He now has five scores between 20 and 40 in his last eight Test innings.

Dinesh Chandimal also scripted a disappointment, running down the pitch at Shakib with only six full overs left in the day, to offer a leading edge to backward point. He had fallen in similar fashion against Saeed Ajmal two weeks ago, and in this innings, Chandimal had already survived another familiar close call. In the over before he got out, Chandimal had spotted a short ball from Al-Amin and pulled it on impulse, but though the fine leg fielder could have stayed within bounds after snaffling the top edge, momentum took him over the line. Angelo Mathews also fell attempting a slog - which left Shakib with the best figures of the day, though others had bowled better than him.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Johann on February 5, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Sangakkara scored AWAY 200 too. 211 vs Pak @ Abudhabi / 230 vs pak @ lahore/ 244 vs BD @ Chittagong / 270 vs Zim @ Bulawayo were not at Colombo. ZIM and BD bowling are good at their home, so, they are good double tons!

  • Manoj on February 5, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    This article presents a clear picture of where we Indians are nowadays. Even I failed to realize this truth along with most of my Ind fans and tried to justify our performance by using past statistics. Further, we together started to bash other countries and players specially our arch rivals Pak, Lankans, Ausies and Saffas as they were playing better than us recently.

    I can't believe that we are at the last position along with Zim in away test matches from July 2011. We managed to draw only 2 while we lost 9 matches. SA, Pak, Aus and SL leading the table while Ban, NZ and WI are also ahead us. Also, we have 3-2 win-loss ratio in Zim, which is the worst among other major test playing countries against Zim. We have won only 2 matches against mighty Ausies when we loose 14.

    This should be the worst away loss coz we lost 9 from 11 matches as compared to 9 from 22 in 1993-2000 period.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    BD new selectors are doing too much. They should wait and give players more freedom. Akram khan was the best in this position.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    BD new selectors are doing too much. They should wait and give players more freedom. Akram khan was the best in this position.

  • Johann on February 5, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    Jayawardhane and Sangakkara can score double ton at will. Look at this series both scored double hundred. Is it @ Colombo? So, it is wrong to call them home track bullies. Even our Mathews can score double ton against any team in the world. Sachin, Dravid etc find it hard to score double ton.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    As a BD fan i can say that BD does not improve as a test nation. There is no shame to say that. all of our top players love to play shots like one day whatever the situation. Nasir, Tamim , Shakib . Only Musfiq and Mominul showed some class but they also play their natural strokes at times. They score runs most times in flat dead pitches. where pitches are difficult most of them struggle and very little patience. when batsman clicks then bowler do not perform. I can not blame only the player, it is the whole setup. Our ex cricketers , selectors are doing fine but they also had little experience in test arena. Our strategy is not working, most of the time it back fires , even just play for 5 days or draw.Test cricket is all about strategy, implication of your strategy. Zimbabwe recent test win showed how well players are supported by their ex think tanks. Our first class matches are most times one sided. it is time to take help from a foreign test performer or specialist,

  • Johann on February 5, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    Well done Sangakkara. What a class. Smashed best fast bowlers and spinners in a bowling pitch. great work.Score a triple or 400 and beat Lara's record. We want that record.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    sanga's touble tons "230 vs pak in lahore, 270 in bulawoyo, 232 against south africa, 287 against south af(both in colombo), 200 and 222 against bangladesh in colombo, 219 vs India(colombo) and finally this innings in Chittagong. So except those two doubles against bangladesh in colombo others are either against a good team or away from home."

  • Josh on February 5, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    What a terrible decision by Paul Rifle to give Kithruwan Withanage out. I don't think I've ever seen a poorer decision. One got to feel sorry for Kithruwan who was batting nicely.

  • Android on February 5, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    @nzcricket174 Aye aye captain. I'm with you.