Monday, 04 Jul, 2022


Perhaps an Opportunity Lost. 

Saleque Sufi  |
Update: 2022-05-18 21:45:46
Perhaps an Opportunity Lost. 

Bangladesh VS Sri Lanka Test Series 1st Test Played at ZACS, Chottogram 
Brief Scorecard at Sumps Day Three  
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 397 All Out in 153 Overs
(Angelo Mathhews 199, Dinesh Chandimal 66, Kushal Mendis 54, Oshda Fernando 36, Naeem Hasan 6/105, Shakib Al Hasan 3/60) 
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings 39/2 (Dimuth Karunaratne 18*, Taijul Islam 1/1)
Bangladesh 1st Innings 465 All Out in 170.1 Overs   (Tamim Iqbal 133*, Mushfiqur Rahim 105, Mahmudul Hasan Joy58, Liton K Das 88 , Shakib Al Hasan 25, Kasun Ranjita 4/60 , Asitha Fernando3/72) 
Sri Lanka Trail By 29 Runs with 8 Wickets at han

Bangladesh placed at a very advantageous position at lunch on day 4 tantalizingly close to Lankan first innings, perhaps lost it getting a little overconfident.

A more cautious and positive approach could take them in a far more commanding position. Still, the marathon efforts of Mushfique batting for 282 balls in 449 minutes for his 8th hundred and milestone setting 5000 ( being the first Bangladeshi batsman earning that) gave Bangladesh a useful 68 runs lead. At stumps Lankans were 39/2. The wicket deteriorated a bit. Oddballs were gripping and turning. If Bangladesh spinners can exploit there is a possibility for them to win. Otherwise, the match is heading towards a draw. On overall consideration, it may be said that the day was evenly shared with Sri Lanka not getting completely out of the contest. The first session of day five would indicate which direction the match will be heading. 

Liton and Mushfique batting wonderfully well till lunch of day five raised the possibility of significant first-innings lead. The 4th wicket partnership putting together 165 precious runs was looking ominous for the visitors. But just after the break two wickets on the consecutive balls were removed well set Liton ( 88) and Tamim first ball for 133. After playing a brilliant inning of 133 Tamim fell in the same fashion on the very first ball he resumed the innings. A sharp inswing castled him. Bangladesh was pegged back by Kasun Rajitha. Mushfique kept plugging. But Bangladesh's innings lost momentum. Even Shakib (25) could not continue longer. Mushfique reached his 8th test century. 

He failed again to an unnecessary sweep shot yet again scoring 105. Bangladesh innings got wrapped up for 465 an overall lead of 68. It could be 100 plus. It was the Sri Lankan pacers those kept Bangladesh honest. Concussion replacement Kasun Rajitha (4/60) and pacers Asitha Fernando (3/72) restricted Bangladesh's lead. Sri Lankans were given a lifeline. However, they still have to bat well keeping Bangladesh spinners at bay. The final day promises a gruesome battle of ball and bat. Sri Lanka will be hoping their senior batsmen rescue them to safety. 

The wicket was playing the same as it was over the first three days when after a brief spell of delay for wet outfield from overnight rain. Mushfiq and Litton were looking solid. Perhaps they were a little too overcautious. At lunch, Bangladesh was 385/3 only 12 runs behind. Bangladesh admirers were expecting Bangladesh to take at least 100 runs lead. There is a saying that men propose but God disposes. Test cricket is a funny game. The first two balls after lunch turned the tide with Litton and Tamim perished on consecutive deliveries.Even Shakib survived a very confident appeal of getting caught. Umpires call rescued him. But only for a while. Resolute Mushfique (105) and Taijul (20) earned Bangladesh 68 runs lead before getting all out for 465. 

Sri Lanka's innings stuttered a bit with Oshada running himself out. Taijul removed night watchman Embuldeniya with a ball that turned viciously. Visitors were 39/2. The situation looks like Sri Lanka managing a draw unless superior quality Bangladesh spinners exploit the 5th-day wicket. 

Bangladesh little Master joined a select brand of top international heroes (Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sunil Gavasakar, Sir Jack Hobbs, Jack Kallis ) as the first batsman reaching 5000 test runs for his country. It was a just reward for the most committed Bangladesh sports personality. His mate Tamim however failed reaching there. Can his team crown his monumental efforts over 449 minutes with a win?  Many would say Bangladesh perhaps lost a golden opportunity for dictating terms. Still, there may have more twists and turns. Sri Lankans have to bat out of their skins against likes to Shakib, Taijul and Naeem to take their ship to safe water. 

BDST: 2146 HRS, MAY 18, 2022

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