A third successive century from Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka take control of the second and final Test against Bangladesh. They had endured a disappointing first session on a pitch that continued to make scoring difficult, slipping to 69 for four at one stage. However, Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal both hit hundreds and added 195 for the fifth-wicket.
Dimuth Karunaratne began the day as Sangakkara’s partner but he didn’t last long and was caught behind flailing at a wide one from Abul Hasan. Lahiru Thirimanne lasted 12 balls for his duck and edged a drive from Robiul Islam into the gloves of Mushfiqur Rahim. Angelo Mathews then completed a hat-trick of successes for Bangladesh in the first session when he nicked an arm-ball from Sohag Gazi to Mahmudullah at slip.
At that stage Sri Lanka still trailed by 171 runs but Sangakkara and Chandimal went onto erase that deficit and some during their fifth-wicket stand. Coming together in the 23rd over, they batted for the remainder of the morning, the entire second session, and beyond the taking of the second new ball.
Sangakkara was the more measured of the two but was nevertheless first to reach three figures, off 215 balls. It was his third Test hundred in 10 days and probably his most valuable on a pitch that makes neither bowling nor batting straightforward. Chandimal did allow himself the occasional adventurous stroke and took 169 balls over his second Test hundred.
Just two overs after the second new ball was taken, however, Rubel Hossain found just enough seam movement into Chandimal to peg back his off-stump. A little later he had Kithruwan Vithanage caught for 12 at deep point of all places.
Those two wickets give Bangladesh a sliver of hope going into the third day. If things go their way then they may yet limit Sri Lanka’s lead to around 100 and then it would be over to their batsmen to do a considerably better job second time around that they did yesterday.
© Cricket World 2013
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