Karunaratne pays for his impatience
The déjà vu
Three balls after practising his ramp shot at the non-striker's end, on the evening of the first day, Tillakaratne Dilshan flashed at a short, wide ball and nicked it behind with the score at 7 for 1. Though Dimuth Karunaratne showed a little more application early on day two, he perished in exactly the same way - undone by a hint of extra bounce from the pitch. Eyeing a wide one from Abul Hasan, Karunaratne threw his bat at it. He left the field seemingly unhappy with the decision but, more importantly, his wicket began the mini-collapse that left Sri Lanka in danger of a first-innings deficit.
Dinesh Chandimal did not venture out to hit as many aggressive strokes off the spinners as he usually might. But when he strode out of his crease to hit his first four off Sohag Gazi, he was slightly beaten by the flight and almost offered a chance to mid-on. He didn't let the close call deter him, however. Two balls later, he advanced down the track again to play the same stroke; only this time, he didn't get anywhere near the pitch of the ball. He seemed prepared for the adjustment and went through with a much more convincing stroke, lofting the ball high over mid-on for another boundary.
Robiul Islam went after a ball deep on the offside but stopped suddenly. He couldn't bend or pick up the ball and the fielder at point had to collect and throw the ball back. The Bangladesh physio helped Robiul off the field and it was encouraging to see him limp out. For a moment, it seemed he had suffered a serious injury but the team management later clarified that it was a case of severe cramps in his lower limbs. He didn't take the field in the last session of play.
Abul Hasan fielding at mid-on in Sri Lanka is not the ideal situation. Fans would remember him spilling Imran Nazir at mid-on in the World Twenty20 last year. In the heat of Colombo, he was loitering around mid-on, when he asked coach Shane Jurgensen for a drink. The coach obliged, throwing a bottle to the fielder at around the same time that Gazi was preparing to start his short run-up. Abul caught the bottle, took a swill and threw it back, all in one motion, finishing just in time to see Gazi deliver the ball, which Chandimal tapped on to the off-side. One wonders what the scene would have been if the batsman had drilled it to mid-on at that point.