Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day March 10, 2013

Nelson nearly strikes again

Plays of the Day from the third day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

The rush of blood
Mahmudullah made an uncharacteristic charge at Rangana Herath shortly after he had arrived at the crease. It was the sort of wicket left-arm spinners enjoy: the batsman beaten in flight and stranded in the middle of the pitch. It was Bangladesh's second wicket of the day, and it had come right after Mominul Haque and Mohammad Ashraful added 105 for the third wicket. Mahmudullah rushed back to the pavilion, but his dismissal didn't trigger a collapse because Mushfiqur Rahim set fort for the rest of the day.

The drop
Mohammad Ashraful was batting flawlessly and had passed his century when he popped a chance at silly mid-off. Dimuth Karunaratne spilled the catch as the ball came off high on Ashraful's bat. It would have been a coincidence had Ashraful scored one more run at that point, because Kumar Sangakkara on the first day and Dinesh Chandimal on the second day were both dropped on 111. Ashraful was batting on 110 at the time.

The shot
There were plenty to choose from, especially off Ashraful's bat but there was a period during the second session when he was completely on top of the Sri Lankan attack. One of the three boundaries in the 86th and 87th overs - a square drive through point - looked the best. The Angelo Mathews delivery was slanting away and Ashraful carved through point, where he beat two fielders, one stationed outside the circle. Neither of them moved, nor did Ashraful.

The celebration
After he had run a single to long-off in the 120th over, Ashraful turned around and raised his bat. He had reached 159, the highest score by a Bangladesh batsman in Test cricket. He beat his own record, the 158 he had made against India in Chittagong in 2004. For someone who remembers most of his dismissals, it was quite natural for Ashraful to realise he had passed his own and the country's highest score.

The close call
Kithuruwan Vithanage has had little to do on debut so far, having not had to bat in the first innings, but he has been useful in field, despite long, lonely stints at the boundary. His best moment came when Mushfiqur drove towards the cover boundary, and Vithanage sprinted around from long-off to dive and collect, and get the throw away. Ashraful, who had expected the ball to go for four had turned slowly, but was quickly aware he may be run-out. Vithanage's 70-metre direct hit sparked a referral and almost had him out.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Neranjan on March 10, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    As a Sri lanakan supporter I am very impressed by Bangladesh performance, they showed good application, and determination, & also showed they have come a long way since they started test cricket. They are an force, and do have a great chance of beating SriLanka in Galle, which not many teams have done. Interesting indeed ;-) On the other hand, not seen the Mathews captaining capabilities, should have attacked a lot more, instead he went for negative fields, and defence, not ideal at all, with a total of 500+ need to be more innovative.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    good cricket. hope ash will get the double century as well as musfique welcome back ash. they need to play out day 4 to create pressure on sl on day 5.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    This match and the innings from Ashraful went into history of Asian cricket... If Bangla can draw a win here, will be epic in world cricket.

  • Amir on March 10, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Good day for BD. They are getting better everyday. They scored 500+ against WI but could not follow through on the last day. Hoping they take a 150+ lead and put SL under pressure. 5th day could be very interesting with BD spinners. Go get 'em Tigers!

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Great innings from Asharful. Many times we have seen similar great innings from him but all the promises shown by him were blown away by his reckless batting and self-destruction. His today's aproach was unlike Ashraful. If this innings is the begning of a new era for him , we may see different Ashraful in the years to come. But if he goes back to his old nature we will have to just feel sorry for him.

  • Bayzid on March 10, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    If bd can play tomorrow full day, it may give a medium lead to SL..... That might be a good ideo :)

  • Shipu on March 10, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Bangladesh batting line-up for test is getting tougher by the series. I think this batting line-up from 1-8 is Bangladesh's best in Tests that is - Tamim, Anamul, Ashraful, Mominul, Shakib, Rahim, Nasir, Mahmudullah followed by rest Gazi who can bat a bit then the fast bowlers. Good thing is that if there are injuries among our batters than we have replacements like Shahriar, Marshall, Naeem etc so batting is fine its the bowling which is the concern. Limited overs we have even more batters like Shamsur, Jahurul, Milon etc.

  • State drive on March 10, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    The report started :The rush of blood & end with Lankan praise The close call....a little praise for bd player but the scenario of day is whole belongs to Bangladesh. This is as like as umpires call. When bd plays against strong team umpires attitude is: they given LBW out bd batsman though the ball never hit stump. On the hand ball hit middle stamp but umpire have given it not out bcoz he is Minows Bd team bowler.

  • Milind on March 10, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    B'desh might still lose in the remaining two days - they have that unique ability to turn promise into ashes.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    SL under pressure...if Bangladesh scores 300 tomorrow....then SL may succumb to pressure on the last day

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