Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 1st Test 2023/24

Sri Lanka 280 (Dhananjaya 102, Kamindu 102) and 418 (Kamindu 164, Dhananjaya 108, Mehidy 4-71) beat Bangladesh 188 (Taijul 47, Vishwa 4-48) and 182 (Mominul 87*, Rajitha 5-56) by 328 runs

Mominul Haque resisted for 148 deliveries, making 87 not out, and he had the company of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shoriful Islam for significant partnerships. But Sri Lanka’s quicks nevertheless hunted down the last five fourth-innings wickets and finished the job midway through the second session of day four, with Kasun Rajitha completing a second career five-wicket haul to finish with figures of 5 for 56.

Rajitha dismissed Taijul Islam lbw in the third over of the day with a delivery that jagged back at the batter, then later in the morning session had Mehidy out driving to break the most substantial stand of the innings. He completed his five-for with a double-strike soon after lunch. Shoriful Islam had defied Sri Lanka for 41 deliveries, but provided a simple caught-and-bowled chance when he attempted to drive Rajitha on the up. Next ball, Rajitha delivered a beautiful fourth-stump length delivery to Khaled Ahmed, who nicked behind.

Lahiru Kumara was the only other bowler to strike on day four, when he had No. 11 Nahid Rana caught off the shoulder of the bat to end the match, and hand Sri Lanka a 328-run victory, their second-biggest margin by runs. The quicks took all 20 opposition wickets, which a Sri Lanka attack had not done since the mid-1980s. This reflected the nature of the Sylhet surface, but also the skill and intensity of Sri Lanka’s seamers.

Bangladesh had begun the day in dire shape, at 47 for 5, but will nevertheless be disheartened at not being able to make Sri Lanka work harder, particularly as rain was forecast for late in the afternoon. They were all-out for 182 after having been bowled out for 188 in the first innings. They did not last 50 overs in the second dig, and aside from Mominul no one passed 35, or batted for more than 50 balls.

Mominul was outstanding for his part, however. He was fluent right through the day, driving through the covers and through point with special skill, while he also elegantly negotiated the bouncer barrages that Sri Lanka’s seamers sent at him. With the late cut also a productive stroke, he found 59 of his 87 runs on the off side. He should have been out on 64 when he toe-edged a ball on the way to the keeper, but Sri Lanka chose not to review. For much of the day, he was also turning down singles so as not to expose tailenders early in the over, though this was far from a uniform approach.

There was no sustained period in which Mominul appeared uncomfortable; some of his stroke-play was gorgeous.

Mehidy was Bangladesh’s next-best batter. He’d survived a big lbw appeal and review against Rajitha soon after coming to the crease, but eventually began to look a more secure figure. He increasingly began to look for driveable balls, hitting several boundaries this way. But this would also be his downfall, when he was caught at second slip off the outside edge.

As with Sri Lanka’s last tour of Bangladesh, when Asitha Fernando (injured for this tour) and Rajitha shone, Sri Lanka’s Test seamers have imposed themselves again, picking up all 20 wickets in the match.

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