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RESULT
1st Test, Chattogram, May 15 - 19, 2022, Sri Lanka tour of Bangladesh
397 & 260/6

Match drawn

Player Of The Match
199
angelo-mathews
Report

Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal dig deep to help Sri Lanka draw opening Test

The pair added 99 off 203 balls in an unbroken stand after the visitors were reduced to 161 for 6

Ashish Pant
19-May-2022
Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella had to dig deep to rescue Sri Lanka, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Chattogram, 5th day, May 19, 2022

Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella had to dig deep to rescue Sri Lanka  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka 397 (Mathews 199, Chandimal 66, Nayeem 6-105) and 260 for 6 (Dickwella 61*, Karunaratne 52, Taijul 4-82) drew with Bangladesh 465 for 9 dec (Tamim 133, Mushfiqur 105, Rajitha 4-60)
Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella dug deep with the Chattogram surface staying true to its nature of being a batting paradise as the first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka ended in a draw. Things, however, could have been different if not for the pair's dogged 99-run stand for the seventh wicket on the final day.
Having started the morning on a brisk note, Sri Lanka lost two wickets each on either side of the lunch interval to stumble to 161 for 6. At that stage, their lead was only 93. But both Chandimal and Dickwella showed grit and determination and kept the Bangladesh bowlers at bay for 203 deliveries to eke out a draw. Dickwella, more adventurous with his shot-making, brought up his 20th Test half-century and finished with an unbeaten 61 off 96 balls. Chandimal, on the other hand, was more measured during his 135-ball 39 not out. The two teams shook hands as soon as the Test entered the final hour, with Sri Lanka on 260 for 6, leading by 192.
The Bangladesh bowlers, particularly Taijul Islam and Shakib Al Hasan, stuck to their lines but were unable to break the seventh-wicket stand. Taijul was the pick of the bowlers, returning 4 for 82.
Sri Lanka resumed the day on 39 for 2, still trailing by 29, but it took them only 24 balls in the first session to wipe off that margin with Kusal Mendis taking the attack to Bangladesh. He was the aggressor while Dimuth Karunaratne focused mainly on rotating the strike.
Kusal started the day by clattering Taijul for two fours in the first over before slamming Khaled Ahmed for a hat-trick of fours on either side of the wicket as Sri Lanka scored 59 runs in the first nine overs of the first session. It did not help that Bangladesh were a bowler short with Shoriful Islam ruled out of the series after fracturing his right hand, courtesy a Kasun Rajitha bouncer late on the fourth day.
Shakib and Taijul then restored some parity, with the latter striking twice. He first removed Kusal, for a 43-ball 48, with a delivery that pitched on the middle stump before spinning away to hit the off bail. Then he sent back Angelo Mathews for a duck with a stunning return catch. Having not opened his account despite facing 14 balls, Mathews was visibly frustrated and tried to go over the bowler's head. But Taijul got both hands to it and completed the catch.
At lunch, Sri Lanka were ahead by 60. After the break, they collected 14 runs from the first two overs. Karunaratne reached his 28th half-century with a thick outside edge off Shakib. However, his joy was short-lived as he fell soon after to Taijul. Taking the aggressive route, Karunaratne skipped down the track but his mistimed flick could only travel as far as Mominul Haque at midwicket, who completed the catch diving to his right.
Dhananjaya de Silva continued playing his shots and he did succeed to an extent, reaching 33, before pulling a rank long hop from Shakib straight to Mushfiqur Rahim at midwicket. Shakib could have had another wicket the very next ball but Dickwella's sweep just evaded a leaping Taijul at backward square leg.
Sri Lanka were staring down the barrel at that stage but Chandimal and Dickwella dug in to rescue the visitors.
Mathews, who scored 199 in Sri Lanka's first innings, was named Player of the Match.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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