Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 4th day March 18, 2017

Karunaratne battles but Bangladesh can dare to dream

271

Sri Lanka 338 and 268 for 8 (Karunaratne 126, Mustafizur 3-52, Shakib 3-61) lead Bangladesh 467 by 139 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Isam: Bangladesh's chance to bury second-innings problems

The Test is tantalisingly poised. Sri Lanka, holders of a proud home record, stretched their lead to 139 thanks to two centuries: of runs from Dimuth Karunaratne and of balls by the No. 8 Dilruwan Perera. But Bangladesh, playing in a landmark game of their own, can consider themselves in control of their 100th Test after picking up eight wickets on the fourth day.

The day ended on a strange note for Bangladesh after umpire Aleem Dar seemed to nod in the affirmative to an appeal, as if to suggest Suranga Lakmal had got a faint inside edge to short leg off the last ball bowled by Mosaddek Hossain. Replays, however, didn't indicate an edge but it was another example of how tough this Test has been for the umpires.

That Bangladesh made inroads through the day was because the attack was led astutely by Shakib Al Hasan, who took three wickets, including that of Karunaratne in the final session for 126. Having removed Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella earlier, Shakib finished with 3 for 61 after 30 overs of accurate left-arm spin.

Yet the man instrumental for breaking Sri Lanka's back was Mustafizur Rahman, after the hosts looked steady the first session despite losing Upul Tharanga in the day's second over to Mehedi Hasan. Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis had weathered the early burst and added 86, large parts of it being accrued before lunch.

Mendis, who made 36, was given an early reprieve on 12 when Imrul Kayes couldn't hold on to a sharp chance at short leg. Then he was nearly run out on 28 after a mix-up with Karunaratne, but Sabbir Rahman's throw from cover missed the stumps at the bowler's end. Sri Lanka had wiped out the deficit and were ahead by 8 at lunch, looking comfortable, but that was to soon change.

Mustafizur first dismissed Mendis in controversial fashion; the third umpire overturned a not-out decision though replays didn't quite suggest a nick to the wicketkeeper. Dhananjaya de Silva and first-innings centurion Dinesh Chandimal were then out chasing wide deliveries after being starved of width for most parts of their short stays.

Even as Sri Lanka collapsed in the middle session, losing five wickets for 62 runs in 26 overs, Karunaratne battled on to reach his fifth Test century. He found an ally in Perera, who fought with him during the course of 22.2 overs in which they added 27. The gallant fight ended when Shakib had Karunaratne caught at slip after an effort that spanned 244 balls and included 10 fours and a six over mid-on.

Rangana Herath continued to blunt the bowling with Perera, batting for another nine overs before being trapped by Taijul Islam with a delivery that fizzed in with the angle from over the wicket. Perera remained steadfast in defence, only getting his first boundaries after he had faced 110 balls. He added 30 valuable runs with Lakmal before stumps.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tonmoy on March 19, 2017, 15:14 GMT

    Yes, as I said earlier, BD now can dare to beat any team in any format. More coming on the way, you will see :)

  • krishnakumar on March 19, 2017, 6:10 GMT

    @CPUR now will win by 8 wickets only

  • cpur on March 19, 2017, 5:52 GMT

    Bd batters confidence is now naturally very high.... because of match induction ...... .... SLK fans please take it as sports not war ......

  • randil on March 19, 2017, 5:52 GMT

    If Sl loose the match fielding is the main reason.drooped costly catches of shakib earlier.now again not reacting quickly.

  • vijay.9533219 on March 19, 2017, 5:50 GMT

    now its reduced to Bangladesh vs herath. can they survive herath's rampage?

  • kumara2360199 on March 19, 2017, 5:49 GMT

    Wow upul tharanga - Srilanka's Best ever batsmen and maybe the best batsmen in the world. look at his match stat - 11+26 = 37- 102 (dropped shakib's dolly when he was at 14, added extra 102) = -65 (minus)

    UT Fan - Please include these figures when you publish useless stats which nobody wants to know

  • vijay.9533219 on March 19, 2017, 5:49 GMT

    can Bangladesh do it? or would they falter in another unique fashion like they usually do? 191 is still difficult especially against herath.

  • mukesh on March 19, 2017, 5:45 GMT

    74 overs and 191 runs means now way we can have a drawn test match. Awesome match for neutrals. Lankan lakmal should be inspiration for BD batsmen but my gut says BD special second innings collapse with herath at center. Sakib and mushi are other important factors.

  • Indianbangali on March 19, 2017, 5:44 GMT

    BD should target ~3 runs per over. No heroics please.

  • randil on March 19, 2017, 5:39 GMT

    Bawlers did a good job by bat.except karunarathne all the other batman there to chewing gums.no support for the team by bat or by fielding.next match test batting loosers should be dropped.dickwelle is a good batsman.but to play test cricket he should show some experience in Odis by showing he can stay in the wicket by scoring beyond 80 runs atleast.and fielders should not wear their blind glasses.

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