Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day March 17, 2017

Learned from Chandimal's first-innings knock - Shakib

11

Shakib Al Hasan displayed patience on the third day to bring up his fifth Test ton © AFP

Shakib Al Hasan was cagey about what drove him to recklessness on the second evening, but conceded he had done some hard thinking overnight before he resumed his innings where he went on to score a vital hundred on the third day of Bangladesh's 100th Test against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh had lost two quick wickets and would soon lose a third when he had arrived at the crease yesterday, and though they were in danger of being dismissed well short of Sri Lanka's 338, Shakib was nevertheless aggressive: he hit 18 off eight balls, and would have been out for 11 had Upul Tharanga held on to a chance at deep square leg.

This morning's session saw a different Shakib, however. He would hit only two further boundaries before lunch, and though he could have been run out on 40, he was largely content to push the ball around for runs into the outfield - relying on the paddle towards fine leg and a back-foot punch through the offside to bring him runs. At lunch he was at 57 off 78 balls, and progressed to his fifth Test century off the 143rd ball he faced.

Shakib was unwilling to dwell on why he had been so belligerent on the second day, providing curt answers, or stonewalling the question completely whenever the topic was breached. But he did concede that there certainly had been a change in his mindset.

"Yesterday, as I was not out, there was time at night to think about it. And in that time I thought about what approach would be good, especially the way Dinesh Chandimal batted in the first innings," Shakib said. "I think there was a lot to learn from that knock with respect to how to bat in this innings. That helped. I had to work really hard to get those runs." Chandimal's innings had been uncharacteristically measured where he took 300 balls to score 138.

Shakib's century took Bangladesh to a strong position in the Test, as they imposed a lead of 129 at the end of two innings. Bangladesh's batting saw them move onto unfamiliar territory, having only once earlier taken a first-innings lead after batting second away from home.

"If in any situation you can score a hundred, from a personal viewpoint it is a special thing," Shakib said. "Since there was a big need to score runs here and I could do that, I am very happy. Now the situation is very good, it is in a balanced state."

Sri Lanka cut that lead down to 75 by stumps - their openers combining for 54. In the past, Sri Lanka have overturned two first-innings deficits against Australia last year although they did not have a three-digit deficit in either of those Tests.

"I think the first session tomorrow will be the most important session in the whole Test," Shakib said. "It is very balanced, but if tomorrow if they bat well, the match may get away from us, and if we bowl well and take wickets we will be in the driving seat. A lot depends on that period."

Though there was significant turn on the pitch from the first day itself, there has been less in the surface for the bowlers since. However, Mehedi Hasan and Rangana Herath did get some bite out of the pitch towards the end of day three, which suggests the surface will increasingly begin to favour the slow bowlers as the Test continues.

"I think the wicket gives enough assistance, but we have to bowl in very good areas. I won't say that it is in a very bad state, neither is it in a good state. There is enough help, but for that we have to be patient."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Baundele on March 18, 2017, 4:54 GMT

    @Ammo666, there are two different things: 1) getting lucky, e.g. Mendis in the first test got lucky that Shubashish bowled that no ball, 2) playing recklessly and getting lucky; e.g. Shakib throughout this innings. Tharanga missed that catch on 11. Lakmal's short ball plan was working. Shakib was hitting in the air; luck is those were falling short of the fielders. Edges from reckless shots were missing the stumps by a whisker.

    Mushfiq missing catches or stumpings should not be considered as luck; it is commonplace. Tharanga missing a catch is lucky for the batsman.

  • Gravity_down on March 17, 2017, 21:18 GMT

    Worst catching by sl. How can u win games?

  • Ammo666 on March 17, 2017, 20:26 GMT

    SLMASTER & BAUNDELE: BD also missed catches & 1 missed by Mushfiqur at SL's 2nd innings, it wasn't lucky?? Learn to give credit when its due, then your team shall also be respected..even Shakib himself praised Chandimal's century innings or else SL would have been bundled out under 240 highest

  • SammySoSo on March 17, 2017, 19:30 GMT

    This knock should be a eye-opener for Sakib. If he bats patiently then he can get many more centuries in the future. The man is loaded with talent. But something often snaps and he tends to treat even test matches, as if they were T20 games. One wonders how many opportunities he must have missed by being too aggressive and brash. I am looking forward to a calmer and composed Sakib in the second innings. If he takes his time another ton is surely possible.

  • i_amVIVA on March 17, 2017, 18:51 GMT

    Congrats Shak, hope you remember this knock and your whole country in mind before all those rash shots in future games. Patience brings fruits, period.

  • Baundele on March 17, 2017, 17:06 GMT

    Shakib can thank Sri Lanka for his very important century. I have never seen Sri Lanka fielding so badly, and any test batsman getting so many lives. Good for Bangladesh, though. Should o for the win from here.

  • White_Bird on March 17, 2017, 16:43 GMT

    Shakib is easily the nicest guy out there. Never gives up any chance of appreciating the opposition.

  • CricLook on March 17, 2017, 16:01 GMT

    Congratulation Shakib for getting the century! You have all the qualities to be a good batsman. Time and again you proved that. We as a fan and the team team want to see your matured innings, specially in test. You are not only one of the senior player but also role model for youngsters. When you bat rush, suicidal way and say 'this is my approach' it hurts millions of fans. Just think about present players like Kohli,Smith,Williamson,de Villiers or Past players like Kallis, Flintoff or Painting,Sachin,Lara. They played for the team , according to the situation and demand which in turn made them great. I don't compare you with them but surely you can perform much better than what you are doing now. All the best for future.

  • cpur on March 17, 2017, 15:34 GMT

    Congrats Shakib .... hope to see more attractive bowling from you tomorrow.!!!!!!!

  • SLMaster on March 17, 2017, 15:28 GMT

    Yes if SL keeping slipping the chances.

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