Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day March 9, 2013

Bangladesh resist after Sri Lanka declare

80

Bangladesh 135 for 2 (Ashraful 65*, Mominul 35*) trail Sri Lanka 570 for 4 dec (Thirimanne 155*, Chandimal 116*) by 435 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Centuries by Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal extended Sri Lanka's domination on the second day, allowing for a declaration at 570, for the loss of only four wickets. Having been on the field for four and a half sessions, Bangladesh had the better part of the afternoon to regroup and script their reply, and ended the day on a satisfying 135 for 2 with a set Mohammad Ashraful at the crease. Though the visitors had a long way to go, they had the platform to go about their first target of going past the follow-on mark.

The most satisfying aspect of Sri Lanka's performance was that two of their batsmen earmarked for the future, scored centuries. Thirimanne and Chandimal didn't allow Bangladesh to snatch the initiative at any stage. While Thirimanne was watchful, cutting out risky shots, Chandimal focused on acceleration as Sri Lanka worked to a plan of getting quick runs before a predictable declaration.

Bangladesh had their moments of control in the opening session. After hemorrhaging runs on the opening day, their bowlers turned in a better performance with the ball, but had only one wicket to show for in the entire day. Better fielding, though, would have helped Bangladesh limit the damage. Chandimal was let off thrice early in his innings, followed by another dropped catch when he had crossed 100. Those bloopers dashed Bangladesh's hopes of infiltrating the lower order. Instead, a massive, unbroken partnership of 203 was allowed to develop and after lunch, it was a matter of when Angelo Mathews would pull the plug on the innings.

Chandimal, never one to leave alone a loose delivery irrespective of the format, slashed his first ball over the slips. He was dropped on 5 when he slashed low to gully off Abul Hasan. The aggrieved bowler only had himself to blame for the second let-off, when he put down a catch at fine leg. Shahadat Hossain had set the trap by bowling short, and he cut an exasperated figure when his fellow seamer fluffed the take, despite having it covered. Chandimal, on 12, then charged the offspinner Sohag Gazi, but Jahurul Islam failed to time his dive properly at short midwicket.

Thirimanne was watchful, compared to the opening day. Save for an edgy drive that beat the diving gully fielder, which took him to the 90s, he was cautious outside the off stump. Chandimal was relatively carefree, charging the spinners and lofting over midwicket, past cover, and driving down the ground. When the seamers bowled it short, he ensured he kept the pull along the ground, learning from his earlier reprieve. He raced towards his fifty with a flurry of boundaries.

Thirimanne, in contrast, was slower in his approach, perhaps mindful of his impetuous stroke when on 91 in Sydney, that cut short a deserving maiden century. On 99, he gave Elias Sunny the charge, and picked up two runs to seal his landmark.

Chandimal didn't alter his approach after lunch, charging Mahmudullah and launching him over the sightscreen. Gazi, who had picked up two wickets by deliberately tossing it up wide outside off stump, tried the same against Chandimal but he improvised and managed to bash it past cover. Chandimal's first fifty came off 91 balls, but his second needed just half the number of balls. He was dropped for the fourth time - on 111 - at long-on, but by then the damage had already been done.

Thirimanne was strong on the off side against the seamers. A single to cover took him past 150 and the declaration came shortly after.

Bangladesh began briskly, but the openers were troubled by Nuwan Kulasekara's disconcerting inswing. It was a slightly short delivery by Shaminda Eranga that cost them a wicket. Jahurul failed to get his gloves out of the way and offered a simple catch to the keeper.

The most pleasing aspect of Bangladesh's reply was Ashraful's fluency. He had form coming into this game, having scored 102 in the tour match in Matara. He was strong on the off side against the seamers, punishing the fuller deliveries wide of point and cover. The ease with which he dealt with Ajantha Mendis was crucial, because he didn't let the bowler settle into a rhythm after striking in his first over. Mendis - playing his first Test since May 2011 - removed Anamul Haque with a googly, yorking the batsman who was driving away from the body. Ashraful ensured he got a good stride forward against Mendis, smothering the spin. If it was pitched up, on the pads, Ashraful managed to flick it away nonchalantly for boundaries through the on side. One such whip brought up his fifty, off just 67 balls.

The debutant Mominul Haque too came into this game with runs - 99 in the tour game - and he too looked comfortable against the spinners, driving Rangana Herath for boundaries on both sides of the wicket. The pair brought up their half-century stand in just 58 balls, as Sri Lanka looked desperate for a wicket before stumps. The final session was undoubtedly Bangladesh's, and their fortunes in this Test will depend on how many more sessions they can dominate, especially on the third day.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on March 11, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @Thilina Dissanayake, cheers man, Thirimanne and Chandimal as well as Karunaratne, K. Perera and Mathews are the future for SL, and yes teams do go through rough patches such as WI and AUS BUT they're time will come in the next few years, so just give them a bit of time to gel as a team.

  • Ponsh on March 10, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Bangladesh can bat too. How tragic for all the haters.

    Roar on Tigers and well done in particular to the improved, focused Ashraful. Great 100 after only making the team because of Tamim's injury.

  • Anan249 on March 10, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Congratulation Ashraful ...........................

  • exynos on March 10, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    why SL team can't perform well even against Bangladesh?They will score 500+

  • dummy4fb on March 10, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Yesterday, i watched the full game ball by ball. Srilankan bowlers bowled very professionally unlike bangladesh. But the pitch is absolutely belted for batting.There was no swing off the pitch,only swing available was from the strong breeze over the ground.So the efforts of srilankan pacers was undone.In this lollipop pitch any team can score 500+ run, no big deal.And Bangladesh is on the way to do so.

  • Tiger_The_Hunter on March 10, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    @Baseball-sucks, its very normal that we, BD fans, will be hoping for the best from our batsmen and we have nothing to do rather to be optimistic. Hoping for big scores from Ashraful doesn't means that we are underestimating SRI bowlers, but we need to hope for the best: everyone also hopes for the bests from their team- no sin to do that.

    Everyone, who follows cricket, must have to believe that BD Cricket is improving and almost touching to a big name. So, it is really harsh from the fans from other countries who are continuously want to throw BD in the waste-bin.

    Historically, SRI fans are very much logical with their comments and they are very respectful to other teams, unlike PAK or IND fans. I believe BD and SRI fans will live and comment in harmony respecting each other's feelings.

  • Prem2248 on March 10, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Due to the the kind of persons around the Team and the seniors (that don't like to see challenging performances from youngsters) they closed the innings too early and at the wrong time. BD shouldn't have been given more than 40 miniutes of play yesterday. If they had done so SL could have got another 130 runs or more, easily taken the 2 wickets that they had already taken and the ball will be new still in the morning today.

  • saif_bd007 on March 10, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    SL is still favourite to win this test. We all knew that. What is our target? To show fight and take to fifth day. Its very difficult to progress for team like BD once Umpires are against them. If they give 5 decisions in BD favor still cant make up the one they didnot give against SANGA. Then 2/3 best batsmen of BD currently arenot playing for injury. Have a heart guys, dont be that harsh to BD. Just think who was not considered even in best 25 is playing so beautiful, who would Sakib/Tamim play here...just luck.

  • dummy4fb on March 9, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Anamul should not be given another chance next test because of his well known problem of no footwork. I think we should play Marshal Ayub in next test match.

  • Dhutugemunu on March 9, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    @ bayzid47; I'm not underestimating BD. But seems you are overestimating BD. I would say BD is a competitive and a surprise threat to any of the Top teams in ODIs. But in Test cricket they are not. 3-65 after 14 years reflects that. Sorry mate. As a comparison SL won 9 matches from 68 they played within first 14 years (1982-1996) and lost only 31. Most of those wins were against Top teams at that time (India 1, Pak 3, NZ 2, Eng 1) and most importantly 3 were away wins which resulted 2 away Test series wins (vs NZ and vs Pak). So still you are comparing SL with BD.

  • No featured comments at the moment.