Both sides will be relatively happy with their work on day three of the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Colombo. However, for both, it could have been better. Sri Lanka would have wanted a bigger first innings lead than the 106 that they got, while Bangladesh will be left disappointed at losing two wickets in as many deliveries 40 minutes before stumps. As it stands, Bangladesh lead by 52 runs but have lost four second innings wickets.
Sri Lanka’s hopes of a 150-run plus first innings lead were dealt a blow in the seventh over of the morning when overnight centurion Kumar Sangakkara was given out after a lengthy consultation with the third umpire. Ruchira Palliyaguruge subjected Sangakkara to an excruciating wait, reviewing the delivery from a myriad of different angles, before finally deciding that he had edged behind to Mushfiqur Rahim.
The last three wickets then added just a further 30 runs before the innings was ended by Mahmudullah having Shaminda Eranga caught by Mohammad Ashraful for 15. Sohag Gazi again ended as the pick of the Bangladesh attack, with figures of three for 111 from 39 overs.
The Bangladesh of old may have suffered early jitters in their second innings but here Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam started confidently. Tamim was comfortably the more free-scoring of the two during their opening stand of 91 which took them close to tea. He eventually chopped on off Eranga when on 59, almost immediately after the seamer had returned for a second spell. Then, almost straight after tea, Ashraful was bowled by Rangana Herath for just four and suddenly Bangladesh had lost two wickets for the addition if just five runs.
Jahurul, though, continued to look solid and showed incredible powers of concentration in the Colombo heat. He was joined by Mominul Haque, who again began to look like he belongs at this level. The pair added 47 in 19 overs, but well into the final hour of the day, cricketing disaster struck.
Jahurul had a rush of blood and charged at Herath to end his 170-ball vigil at 48 as Dinesh Chandimal whipped off the bails to complete an easy stumping. Then, the very next ball, Mahmudullah received a pearler from Herath, which spun past his outside edge and pegged back his off-stump. Bangladesh were now 143 for four - just 37 runs ahead.
Fortunately, they didn’t lose any more wickets in the remaining 9.2 overs as Mominul and Rahim added a further 15 runs with relatively little difficulty. The first session tomorrow, as is so often the case, will be key. If Sri Lanka can pick up at least two wickets and keep a check on the scoring then they should be well on the way to securing a series-clinching victory.
© Cricket World 2013
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