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

Sri Lanka 280 and 119 for 5 (Karunaratne 52, Dhananjaya 23*, Nahid 2-42) lead Bangladesh 188 (Taijul 47, Vishwa 4-48, Kumara 3-31) by 211 runs

A day belonging to the bowlers ended with Sri Lanka 211 runs ahead, after their seamers ran through Bangladesh’s line-up to secure a healthy first-innings lead of 92 in Sylhet before the batters stretched it further. Dhananjaya de Silva (23*), one of two first-innings centurions, was at the crease alongside nightwatcher Vishwa Fernando, after Bangladesh again troubled Sri Lanka’s top order on a wicket that continued to prove further more challenging for batters.

Nahid Rana continued his excellent debut, accounting for the wickets of Nishan Madushka and Kusal Mendis during a fiery opening spell. There was also finally some joy for the spinners, with Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan Miraz getting rid of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, respectively.

But it was Shoriful Islam who grabbed the prized wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne. The former captain had been in the middle of one his patented scratchy but durable innings, notching his 36th Test fifty, when he top-edged a sharp bouncer straight to fine leg. That reduced Sri Lanka to 113 for 5, and produced a nervy final few minutes of play as Vishwa and Dhananjaya played out till the close.

But despite the best efforts of the Bangladesh bowling contingent, it was Sri Lanka’s seamers who ensured their side would be ahead on the day after a disciplined and probing effort had been duly rewarded with the hosts being dismissed for 188 less than an hour before tea.

Having begun the day with Bangladesh three down, Sri Lanka’s seamers hogged the ball across the morning session and for most of the afternoon as well – spinner Prabath Jayasuriya got just a solitary over – as they finished by grabbing all ten wickets, the first time that has occurred in a Test innings in Bangladesh since 2008.

Kumara did the damage early in the day, sending three frontline batters packing before lunch. The first to go was Mahmudul Hasan Joy, who hadn’t looked comfortable negotiating the seaming ball outside off and eventually pushed too hard at one that had a little extra bounce.

Shahadat Hossain too fell prey to that nagging length outside off, edging into the slip cordon, but Kumara saved his best for Litton Das. Having bowled a couple prior that held its line outside off, he got one to jag back in and burst through bat and pad to crash into the stumps.

Litton had been looking good up until that point, but his wicket just an over before lunch proved to be crucial, as it ended an innings-best 41-run stand and brought about the last recognised batter – Mehidy – to the crease.

That said, Taijul, who had come in the previous evening as a nightwatcher, was still in and looking increasingly more confident. A couple of lovely drives earlier in the day, mixed in with surprisingly adept defensive resilience, had seen the spinner upstage his more illustrious batting counterparts.

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