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Plays of the day from the fourth day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Mohammad Isam and Andrew Fidel Fernando
March 11, 2013
Walking in to bat at 550 for 6, Sohag Gazi had the license to play his shots and get Bangladesh as close to Sri Lanka's score as possible. As they neared the 570-mark, Gazi played an upper cut off Nuwan Kusasekara that bounced once before thudding into the third-man boundary hoardings. He leaned back, let the ball get slightly past his right shoulder before flicking the bat in an upward direction. The slips raised their arms in hope as the ball sped away. With that boundary, it was the first time Bangladesh had taken the lead against Sri Lanka in 13 Tests.
Mohammad Ashraful had looked like a batsman who didn't have nerves on the third day, but with the impending milestone of becoming the first double-centurion of the country just 11 runs away, it was always going to be hard to follow up on a near-perfect act. As if on cue, Ashraful began the day with a daft shot, trying to reverse-sweep the first ball, which was bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan from around the wicket. The leg slip caught the ball that went past the bat's edge and probably hit the thigh-pad. Four overs later, Ashraful got out for 190, via another uneasy shot, against Rangana Herath.
The dolly drop
Sri Lanka, like Bangladesh, allowed the long, tortuous spells in the field to affect their catching, but the worst drop in the Test was a return chance that Sri Lanka's best fielder Tillakaratne Dilshan would have expected to catch comatose. Elias Sunny had just arrived at the crease and gently stroked a length ball back to Dilshan at thigh height. Dilshan set himself, but closed his fingers too early, and let the ball fall on the pitch. Thankfully for the bowler and Sri Lanka, he had Sunny caught behind next over.
The debutant's moment
Most Test debutants might recall their first Test as a great moment in their career, but Kithuruwan Vithanage is likely to have fewer fond memories of his first international outing, given his only involvement so far was to spend two full days in the scorching Galle sun. He is still at great risk of not getting a bat in the Test, but at least he will be on the scoreboard, after holding on to a ball at short leg that was deemed to have brushed Sohag Gazi's bat, in his 177th over in the field.
Given Kumar Sangakkara's three last scores against Bangladesh at home read 200*, 222* and 142, the visitors would have been keen to see his back early on a flat pitch, but after also shelling a chance off him in the first innings, Bangladesh did similarly in the second. Gazi got one to bite more than Sangakkara expected in the 13th over, and though the feather edge caused no major deviation to the ball's trajectory, Mushfiqur Rahim shelled the chance, having kept tidily throughout the Test. By stumps, Sangakkara had added 36 chanceless runs to his score, and was on the verge of a half-century.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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