Bangladesh debutant Shoriful Islam is congratulated by teammates after taking his maiden Test wicket – that of Dimuth Karunaratne
- Sri Lanka end day one strongly placed on 291/1
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
|Lahiru Thirimanne raises his bat and helmet after reaching his century
It was another batsman-dominated first day of a Test with Sri Lanka winning the toss and batting first in the second Test against Bangladesh, finished strongly on 291/1 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
A double century opening partnership between skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne has laid the solid foundation for a huge first innings total for Sri Lanka. Both openers made hundreds – Karunaratne, followed his double century in the first Test with another workmanlike knock of 118 off 190 balls (15 fours) and Thirimanne, finally converted a series of fifties into a hundred by batting the entire day for 131* scored off 253 balls (14 fours).
During the course of their innings, Karunaratne passed 5,000 Test runs, becoming the 10th Sri Lankan to reach that milestone, and Thirimanne 2,000 runs in his rather chequered Test career, which is now showing signs of flourishing.
Batting with Thirimanne is Oshada Fernando, who in his 98-ball innings for 40* has looked pretty sound and confident. The pair has so far figured in an unfinished stand of 82.
Karunaratne made Bangladesh pay dearly for dropping him at 28 when Najmul Hossain Shanto put down an easy catch at wide slip off the hard-working Taskin Ahmed by going onto complete his 12th Test hundred off 165 balls (13 fours). On a placid batting surface and sultry conditions where the bowlers were made to work hard for success, a dropped catch of that nature was totally unforgiveable. It was the only one that went to hand the entire day as Bangladesh bowlers toiled hard for success.
Karunaratne and Thirimanne piled on the misery for Bangladesh for after a slow first session when only 66 runs were scored off 27 overs. The openers grew in confidence, raising the hundred partnership and then the double hundred, playing risk-free cricket with 122 runs scored in the afternoon session and 103 in the final.
Bangladesh finally broke the opening stand at 209 when 19-year-old debutant left-arm fast bowler Shoriful Islam was rewarded with his maiden Test wicket. In his 12th over he got Karunaratne under-edging a cut to the wicket-keeper.
But that was as far as Bangladesh got, as Fernando joined the unyielding Thirimanne to see another day through where the bat held sway over the ball. Both teams gave a Test cap to a player – Sri Lanka capping left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama and Bangladesh left-arm fast bowler Shoriful Islam. Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis replaced Wanindu Hasaranga who went wicket-less in the first Test, conceding 126 runs.