Gazi plays lone hand on a tough day
Sohag Gazi, the Bangladesh offspinner, looks like he will have to lead the bowling attack in the Tests after he bowled 30 overs and picked up five wickets in the Matara heat on a tough day for the bowlers. Other bowlers failed to make an impact on the first day of Bangladesh's three-day tour match as Sri Lanka Development Emerging team's batsmen put up 398 runs.
Abul Hasan bowled just six overs before being struck down by dehydration and sun-stroke. Elias Sunny picked up two wickets but was easily dealt with, while Rubel Hossain bowled 17 overs for a wicket, but gave away 71 runs.
Gazi, who impressed during his first two Tests against West Indies, is a bowler in form, and has been regularly playing first-class cricket during a busy international season. He played three Bangladesh Cricket League matches for South Zone, to stay in the habit of bowling long spells.
"It was a bit disappointing to give away nearly 400 runs," Gazi said. "The wicket was very good to bat on, so there was a lot of hard work. It was always going to be difficult to get any batsman out. Having said that, I am happy with the five wickets, but I really had to put in a lot."
Gazi came on as first change in the first hour, took the day's first wicket, and continued to peg away throughout the first session. He took one more after lunch, but once he was out of the attack, the batsmen collected easy runs off others.
He later broke the 159-run fifth-wicket stand between Kithuruwan Vithanage and Ashan Priyanjan in the third session, a wicket he thoroughly enjoyed.
"The wickets didn't come easy. I had to use a lot of variations. I tried to entice them into false shots because if a batsman decides to defend 60 deliveries on this wicket, he can easily do so. It was tough work out there, but I tried to vary my flight."
"It was satisfying to get [Priyanjan's] wicket. I had the batsman caught at mid-on by Jahurul bhai, but it was a matter of trying continuously," he said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent