Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day March 11, 2013

Mushfiqur double-ton takes Bangladesh to record total


Sri Lanka 570 for 4 dec and 116 for 1 (Sangakkara 49*, Dilshan 63*) lead Bangladesh 638 (Mushfiqur 200, Ashraful 190, Nasir 100) by 48 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The records stacked up and so did the individual milestones. After the captain Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh batsman to score a double-century, Nasir Hossain brought up his maiden century to help Bangladesh pass their previous highest Test score of 556, ending with 638. Bangladesh finished with a lead of 68, also taking a psychological advantage against tired Sri Lankan outfit unaccustomed to spending so much time in the field in their favourite home venue. With four sessions left in the Test, Sri Lanka saw through the first comfortably, losing just one wicket and leading by 48.

It was the first instance of three or more Bangladesh batsmen scoring centuries in an innings. Mohammad Ashraful fell ten short of a double century, showing remarkable composure till his dismissal for 190. Mushfiqur achieved what Ashraful couldn't and that it came from the captain was all the more special. Nasir has been one of Bangladesh's best emerging players, scoring four fifties in six Tests coming into this game. He finally converted one of his half-centuries, adding to Sri Lanka's woes.

Ashraful had added just one run to his overnight score before he attempted to jump closer to 200 with a wild blow into the Galle city market. Rangana Herath tossed it up, Ashraful was down the track and only managed an outside edge to slip. The Mushfiqur-Ashraful stand produced 267 runs off 518 balls, beating the Bangladesh record for the longest partnership in terms of balls faced (498), set by Javed Omar and Nafees Iqbal against Zimbabwe in Dhaka in 2005.

Even after Ashraful's dismissal, Mushfiqur's concentration never wavered. Sri Lanka's bowling hadn't improved as they continued to hemorrhage runs. Shaminda Eranga managed to get some reverse swing with the old ball but he was guilty of full tosses, which were easily put away for boundaries. Nasir found his rhythm with a cut past point for four off Eranga and he remained positive, slogging Herath to deep midwicket and pulling half trackers from Ajantha Mendis and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Mendis struggled to find the right length, often dropping it too short on a slow pitch.

Of the two, Nasir was more aggressive, while Mushfiqur was willing to bide his time. Mushfiqur pierced the gaps, rotated the strike and showed some urgency towards the end of the session, as he looked to seal a double-ton before lunch with slogs down to deep midwicket. He eventually got there in the second over after lunch, with a punch to cover. Three balls later, he was trapped lbw by an inswinger from Nuwan Kulasekara. Mushfiqur threw his head back as he walked away, but he had led by example in the best possible manner, helping Bangladesh surpass all expectations.

Nasir progressed towards his century with a pull off Mendis and a scoop over mid-on. He clipped Mendis to square leg to pick up a single to bring up his hundred. He eventually fell pulling a short ball from Dilshan straight to midwicket. Nasir was aggressive in his approach from the beginning as Bangladesh looked for quick runs to try and build a lead and then have a go at Sri Lanka.

Nasir reached his century with the lead at 48, and fell soon after the landmark, pulling to midwicket. There could have been a case for having a few overs at the Sri Lankan openers, having spent two days in the field and possibly nipping out a wicket or two before tea, but Mushfiqur chose not to declare. Bangladesh are now getting the knack of posting totals in excess of 500, having scored 556 against West Indies two Test matches ago, and the number "638" is likely to figure in many future cricketing conversations involving Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka eventually wrapped up the innings in an extended session. Two dropped catches, one of which was a sitter spilled by Dilshan off his own bowling, was an example of their struggles.

With the pitch hardly showing any signs of wear and tear, and with only four sessions to go, a draw loomed. Dimuth Karunaratne failed to make the most of the good batting conditions, hooking a short ball from Shahadat Hossain straight to fine leg. Bangladesh had another chance at a breakthrough, when Kumar Sangakkara, on 13, got an outside edge off Sohag Gazi, only for Mushfiqur to fluff it. Dilshan, on 60, survived a confident shout for a catch at short leg towards the end of the day and the fielders' reactions suggested that Dilshan was lucky to survive. Save for those two instances, the pair of Dilshan and Sangakkara found the going easy.

The only chance of a result is if Sri Lanka self destruct on the fifth day. With the pitch good to last another five days from here on, that seems unlikely. Nevertheless, it was another day for Bangladesh to savour.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shyam on March 12, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    now every srilnakan fans know the class of sanga sam eline as bangladeshs second tire batsman dnt cry..

  • Ven on March 12, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Over 1400 runs for 15 wickets? Almost 100 runs per wicket including tailenders? Such pitches will only serve to kill test cricket.

  • Amila on March 12, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    This is a good eye opener for the SL team , now they know where they stand . Herath is a good bowler but he is only good against the teams who are uncomfortable against spin .Mendis and Akila are both in the same category they both cannot spin the ball so they both not good enough to play Test cricket

  • Shyarmal on March 12, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    These kind of pitches kills test match cricket...Pitch is not giving any assistance for the bowlers but better for batsmen since they can add another century for the records

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Well done boys ! You have gave us a memorable day in Cricket History of Bangladesh. Congrats from my Hearts.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Draw could be the predetermined result of this test. Bad luck for Ash. Just missed the Double-century. But, he has proved again why the selectors chooses him. Such a good player need to be given more room to perform.

  • Mir Zayed on March 12, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    @ JPNana on (March 11, 2013, 15:31 GMT) : "Kudos to BD's even though it's not a big deal for others ". Of course its not a big deal, that's why you are making excuses and commenting so much, right? Besides, it IS a big deal to us.

  • Ajith on March 12, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Congrats B'desh for making it happen.You have certainly proved your worth that your team is a force to reckon with at test level.Keep up the good work.As for Sri Lanka, the bowling of Mendis and Eranga were putrid at times with a variety of loose bowling lacking in length and direction in addition to some bad fielding.They will have to look seriously to strengthen the fast bowling and spin bowling units if they are to win matches atleast on home soil even with bottom of the table test teams.

  • Javed on March 12, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I think, it's time to look for some quality fast bowler in Bangladesh team. Taskin Ahmed might be a good choice. Good luck tiger.

  • roket on March 12, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    @indirocz: In BD's case, it would have to be one odd performances on a "dead" pitch. We don't get to play everyday on dead pitches like SL and IND does to get their batting averages up!:-) Even when BD played WI last year, the pitches in BD was offering spin assistance (Sohag Gazi's Numbers were great), and to seam bowlers (Tino Best and Rampaul's performance) by providing bounce. Not what you see everyday in Pitches in SL or IND.