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Plays of the day from the fifth day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Mohammad Isam and Andrew Fidel Fernando
March 12, 2013
Shahadat Hossain had very little to be amused about in the Galle Test but on the fifth day, he found a bit of entertainment. On the southwestern grass bank, two female fans held up a banner that expressed their affection for Shahadat. Every time it came into focus on the big screen, Shahadat could not stop laughing. After the post-match presentation, Shahadat obliged the ladies for a photograph.
Long spells in the field took a toll on both sides' catching in the Test, and virtually all the half-chances - as well as some straightforward ones - went to ground on the first four days. However, despite having to field through Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan plundering two more centuries on the fifth morning, Jahurul Islam remained alert enough to snatch the sharpest take of the match. Mahmudullah served up a rank half-tracker and though Sangakkara timed his pull well, he hit it close to Jahurul midwicket, who dived quickly to his right and completed the catch centimetres from the turf.
Sangakkara's was not the only wicket Mahmudullah picked up with a short ball. After he had spent two days in the dressing-room wondering what would have happened had he not unnecessarily charged to be stumped for a duck in Bangladesh's first innings, he kept dropping it short with the ball. Yet, after snapping up Sangakkara, he had another victim to the short ball when Kithuruwan Vithanage chopped on. And in between, the short one claimed Tillakaratne Dilshan, who pulled to deep-square leg fielder, Abul Hasan.
A reverse sweep is usually one of the last shots most young batsmen will look to play in his debut game, but Kithuruwan Vithanage had no such qualms on this pitch. He had been kept in check after arriving at the crease by a tight line outside off stump and a packed offside field. He eventually had enough, twisting his wrists and bludgeoning his second Test four through the vacant third man area off Elias Sunny.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?