Bangladesh v SL, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 5th day February 8, 2014

Bangladesh save Test but SL take series


Sri Lanka 587 (Sangakkara 319, Shakib 5-148) and 305 for 4 dec (Sangakkara 105, Chandimal 100*) drew with Bangladesh 271 for 3 (Haque 100*, Perera 2-55) and 426 (Rahman 106, Kayes 115)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mominul Haque had arrived at the fifth day short of runs and confidence, but, showcasing remarkable courage and a striking understanding of the dynamics of Test-match momentum, he led Bangladesh to safety with a third Test hundred in his 12th innings. Charged with simply surviving, Mominul chose to press Sri Lanka instead.Having hit 424 runs earlier in the match, Kumar Sangakkara said positivity at the crease had been the hallmarks of his success. Perhaps Mominul had taken note.

Bangladesh were three down when Mominul scored the run that sent him to three figures, after the hosts had begun the day with all ten wickets in tact. With less than an hour of scheduled play remaining, Angelo Mathews agreed to cut Sri Lanka's losses, and hand Bangladesh their second consecutive draw in Chittagong against a top-eight team. The hosts will be pleased that despite Sangakkara's deluge, they had unearthed considerable spirit after their putrid display in Dhaka.

The afternoon session became the key to Bangladesh's resistance after two wickets had fallen in the morning, and Mominul managed that period sagely, to bat through. Cutting the wide balls, and consistently positive outside the off stump, he leant heavily on hand-eye coordination for survival, and prompted more defensive fields from Sri Lanka in the process. By the end of the session, this had in turn inspired yet more aggression in Mominul. Sri Lanka began the session full of spring and enthusiasm and finished it relatively flat. Seven wickets in the final two hours is a difficult proposition against any opposition.

Having scored 10 from his first 39 balls, Mominul worked up an appetite for scoring with consecutive boundaries off Ajantha Mendis, and cut, swept and drove with a freedom that still gave heed to the match situation, because his judgement was razor-sharp. A fluid cover drive that threaded the packed offside field brought him his first fifty of the series, and at tea, his most recent 61 runs had come in 73 deliveries.

After tea his advance was more measured. He would dart occasionally at the slow bowlers, often driving, sometimes making room to hit through off, but largely, he attacked only the poor balls. Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal served up few of those, but Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep gave away plenty. Part-time legspinner Kithuruwan Vithanage had begun the day strongly, but his accuracy tailed off as the day wore on, and perhaps Sri Lanka erred in keeping him on too long. Most of Mominul's 11 boundaries came from errors in length, but the batsman also collected singles into the outfield efficiently, and Shakib-Al-Hasan, his partner for most of the innings, did the same.

The period when Mominul approached his ton was the most tense of his innings. Pradeep found the consistent line outside off stump that had evaded him for most of the match, and beat both his edges in two gripping overs. Though clearly nervous, the batsman collected himself enough to score when Pradeep strayed slightly. The single off his hips towards deep square leg prompted a far more muted celebration than the other Bangladesh centurions had produced, and also marked the end of the match.

Shakib benefited from Mominul's approach mining gaps in the field that had not been present for previous batsmen, but he too played a vital role as the senior batsman. He edged two past the slips soon after arriving at the crease, but hit a confident boundary through point before tea, by which time he seemed more secure. In the final session, he was grooved into the beat of singles and twos, breaking rhythm only to step down the pitch and hammer Vithanage past mid-on, twice.

Pradeep had improved since the first innings, but he still sprayed the ball both wide of off stump and too straight, in the first two sessions. Mendis could not find a consistent length, and threatened only rarely. Perera's pinpoint offspin built significant pressure, and brought him two wickets, while Lakmal was again earnest and economical on a surface that did not assist him. Rangana Herath's experience was missed.

Throughout the last two sessions, Mathews set creative fields - the kind that had eluded him on the final day in Sharjah, three weeks ago - but with two frontline bowlers having off days, there was not enough pressure to reap rewards. Lakmal often had 8-2 offside fields, with no one on the fence. Perera had as many as four men around the bat, and a short leg and leg slip routinely in place for the right-handers. As Sri Lanka sat on their pile of runs, Mathews saw no risk in delaying deployments on the fence.

Earlier, Bangladesh's openers had survived sensibly in the first hour, but allowed Sri Lanka a sniff by getting out in the 40 minutes before lunch. Vithanage proved an inspired choice of bowler in the second hour, when Tamim was a victim of his own impatience, allowing the ball through to his stumps as he attempted an aggressive stroke away from the body, against the turn. Shamsur Rahman's leaky technique allowed Perera to burst through between bat and pad and onto the stumps.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • roket on February 10, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    Good to see BD test cricket is slowly moving in the right direction. I think even 3 years ago BD would have lost this match handily. Sanga showed his class again. I hope the ODIs are competitive. One request to BD fans, please do not respond to Legaleagle, I think he or she has been trolling on BD cricket news for a long time. I wonder why cricinfo keeps publishing the hate Legaleagle spews on these boards against BD. I am glad the rest of the Pak or other Asian fans have a different view.

  • Mehdi on February 9, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    First and foremost BD needs to make difficult lively spinning or bounce pitches in their first class domestic circuit if they want their batsman to be more mature. The problem lies with BD batsman is not their ability or patience . The problem lies with the condition and situations when in difficult time batsman needs to check their shots, and need a different caucus approach.

  • maruf on February 9, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    icc rating system is a big joke. Kumar Sangakkara hits triple ton & a ton in a away match( 319 of 587 & 105 of 305), but only earned 58 rating points ! But Micheal Clarke hit a triple ton against India at home(similar bowling attack compared to bangladesh) he earned 102 rating points!

  • Farhan on February 9, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    @ Legaleagle: Shocking how you used Insha' Allah to wish something bad for others. Kind of thing we are not suppose to do. Yea you are right against a team like SL drawing a test is like winning it as they are one of the top team with some great players in their team not like we were playing against a over hyped ordinary team like Pakistan. So yea we are happy about what we have done

  • Wesley on February 9, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @mchayen...yes, we know India are only at their best at home. They have just been beaten by NZ. You would have thought they could knock NZ over, even away from home. The thing is they will never be a truly great team because they insist on preparing featherbed, slow and low pitches. How is that ever going to help their cricket development? I have been watching cricket for over 40 years and India has never ever truly dominated around the world. Think Australia 1989 - 2008 and West Indies 1976 - 1995. India has never remotely approached these levels.

    I hate to see Sangakkara milking weak attacks to pump his average up. It's pathetic the number of Tests he gets to play against these weaker sides. You think of teams in the 70s and 80s facing the brutal bowling attacks from the West Indies. I'd like to see how many Sangakkara would have made against them.

  • Jason on February 9, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    I told you guys ! This Ranking system is a joke! Kumar Sangakkara hits triple ton & a ton in a away match( 319 of 587 & 105 of 305), but only earned 58 rating points ! But Micheal Clarke hit a triple ton against India at home(similar bowling attack compared to bangladesh) he earned 102 rating points!

  • Chris on February 9, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    What Bangladesh seriously needs are top quality pacers. I strongly advise Bangladesh management to nurture and look after someone like Abul Hasan who not only has talent with ball but also bat and could be a perfect test player for us. Even Sanga last year himself admitted that Abul is by far the quickest Bangladeshi pacer he has faced to date.

  • mainul on February 9, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Picking Mominul was i'll say the best task performed by the selectors so far.He can be Bangladesh's Indian version of Pujara. He should be properly guided in future. That's very important.The senior batsmen in the team Tamim and Sakib haven't yet developed the matured mindset yet to play test cricket. How they will guide a newcomer like Mominul?Rather Mominul should guide these 2 about how to occupy the crease and build an innings. I am very disappointed about Sakib. He is just wasting his talent. He is not a 35+ avg test batsmen. He has ability to increase his avg to 45+ .Yesterday he played at least a dozen of rash shots in his 40+ innings and should have got out.He most of the time plays a 35-50+ innings full of shots and gets out playing a rash ugly stroke.Bangladesh needs long inningses from him.

  • Neranjan on February 9, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    It's a good draw by Bangladesh !!! They did show the fight. But i must question angello's tactics , having more than 400 runs, he did not attack the Bangladesh batsman, to the extent that should have. There should have at least two slip fields-man at all times when Kitruwan was bowling as he was exploiting the ruff outside the left hand batsman. Yes we were really hampered by the loss of Herth and Eranga not playing. But still I can remember Clark & co came to sri lanka with a rookie spinner at that time Lyon and with great fields set by Clark he won the match for Australia. Should have set great fields when Kithruwan , Dilruwan & Mendis were bowling. there is always room for improvement.

  • ESPN on February 9, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Lions gn bite the tigers ass in T20.

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