Silverwood waits for Bangladesh to 'try to push things on' in slow-moving Chattogram Test

Jamie Siddons wants his batters to keep Sri Lanka on the field on the fourth day and "try to bowl them out in a day"

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim are in the middle of a 98-run partnership  •  AFP/Getty Images

Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim are in the middle of a 98-run partnership  •  AFP/Getty Images

Despite Bangladesh's strong showing with the bat on the third day of the Chattogram Test, Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood feels that the Chattogram Test is finely poised, but a result will depend on whether the home side "try to push things on" on the fourth morning.
"I think it is a very well-balanced game," Silverwood said. "I think the morning session will be key. It will be interesting to see how Bangladesh come out and play, [and] if they try to push things on. The scoring rate, as it is, come lunch time tomorrow they will be somewhere around level with us. With five sessions left in the game from there on, it will be interesting to see how they play. We will try to restrict the runs but we also know that they have some very good players who can move the run rate.
"I think we are [waiting for the opponents to make mistakes], because there's very little happening with the wicket. The turn is slow. We are trying to pressure people into making mistakes. Batters weren't willing to take risks. They have played calculated shots and waited for the bad ball. It was good batting. It will be interesting to see if people try to force a result."
Bangladesh are 79 runs behind Sri Lanka's 397, but they have seven wickets in hand, including those of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, who retired hurt on 133.
But Sri Lanka's runs came at a run rate of 2.59, over 153 overs, and Bangladesh have so far scored at 2.97, over 107 overs. With Litton Das on 54 and Mushfiqur Rahim on 53, though, they can up the tempo if they want to.
"Litton scores quite quickly. We know what Shakib does. Tamim is still to come. We have some players who can put pressure on Sri Lanka tomorrow," Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh's batting coach, said. "They will be tired. We have given them a taste of their own medicine, keeping them out there in the heat. We will do it again tomorrow. I think we are 70-odd behind now, so we are well within striking distance in the first innings.
"I think if we can bat the day tomorrow, and then try to bowl them out in a day, that'll be a very good effort. If they serve up some bad bowling, and if we go on the attack [it would be a matter of time]."
Sri Lanka could have been in a better position after the third day had it not been for the missed chances. Lasith Embuldeniya dropped Mahmudul Hasan Joy on 51, Dhananjaya de Silva dropped Tamim on 114, and Oshada Fernando spilled one when Litton was on 33. Mahmudul didn't add many to his score after the life, falling for 58, but Tamim and Litton have cashed in.
The bright spot for Sri Lanka was Kasun Rajitha, who came in as a concussion substitute for Vishwa Fernando, and struck twice in quick time to keep Sri Lanka in the game.
"It was great to see Kasun make an immediate impact in the game," Silverwood said. "[But dropping] three catches is not good on a wicket that's offering so little. We have to be more disciplined in our fielding. We need to take those catches."
For Bangladesh, the base was created by Tamim and Mahmudul when they added 162, the first century opening stand in more than five years in Tests for Bangladesh and their highest opening stand against Sri Lanka.
"The job that the openers did on the second day [ending on 76 for no loss], set us up for today," Siddons said. "Yesterday was very tough after almost two days of fielding in very, very hot conditions. Tamim's performance is fantastic. Plenty more runs left. He can come back when we think he's fit. The discipline today was exactly what we asked for.
"Tamim didn't go fast. He looked like Angelo Mathews actually. Very patient in taking ones when they were there, only hitting fours when they were handed to him on a plate. He didn't really take on the bowlers like I have seen him before. Joy just did his job of taking on the new ball, and put a partnership together with Tamim."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84