BAN vs SL, 1st Test, Day 3, Review: Sri Lanka's top-order flattens the hosts

BAN vs SL, 1st Test, Day 3, Review: Sri Lanka’s top-order flattens the hosts

Kusal Mendis missed out on his double ton by just 4 runs as Sri Lanka ended the day on 504/3.

Kusal Mendis |
Kusal Mendis of Sri Lanka. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sri Lanka took the complete control of the ongoing first Test match against Bangladesh on the third day in Chittagong. Their batsmen have been prolific and apart from Dimuth Karunaratne, all the top five batsmen have scored runs in the first innings. They are still looking good and tipped as the favourites to win the game. However, they would love to take a huge lead on the fourth day on a deteriorating pitch and then spin the web around the home side.

Earlier in the morning, the overnight pair of Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis strode out to bat with their team still a long way away from the total of their opponents. They continued to bat in the same vein from where they had left off on the second day. The serene shots kept coming off their bats which the scarce crowd enjoyed to the fullest. Meanwhile Mendis completed his century and looked hungry for more runs.

Heartbreak for the youngsters

After playing out the first session without much trouble, both the players were eyeing their respective double hundreds and were comfortably playing out the bowlers of Bangladesh. Dhananjaya, who was authoritative in his shot-making throughout his innings, fell to the new ball off Mustafizur Rahman after top-edging a miscued pull shot on 173. The marathon partnership of 308 runs in almost 80 overs was finally ended with the Tigers sniffed an opening to pick more wickets.

But Roshen Silva joined Mendis and both continued the juggernaut of Sri Lanka with utter ease. The latter played some delightful strokes exceptionally well and was set to notch up his maiden double-century. But somehow looked nervous when he reached 196 runs and skied a harmless delivery from Taijul Islam in the deep which was well taken by Mushfiqur Rahim running backwards. Both de Silva and Kusal had missed out on a golden opportunity but brought their team back in the game with an amazing display of skills with the bat.

Wicketless final session for the hosts

After dismissing the overnight batsmen, Bangladesh would’ve hoped to scalp few quick wickets in the final session on a tiring pitch. But the duo of Roshen Silva and Dinesh Chandimal refused to relent and formed yet another excellent partnership. They were slow to start off but took pace in the latter stages of the day as Sri Lanka crossed the 500-run mark. They ended the day on 504/3, only 9 runs adrift of the total posted by their opponents. While Silva remained unbeaten on 87 looking good for his maiden ton, the skipper Chandimal was solid as ever on 37.

Both would love pile on the agony of the home side and build a huge lead and then torment them with the spin on the final day as the pitch will surely turn a lot. Bangladesh, on the other hand, looked clueless throughout the day as the only two wickets they picked were also due to the mistakes of the batters. They have to clean up the innings soon else their back could be against the wall at the end of the day on Saturday.

Brief Scores

Bangladesh 513 (M Haque 176, M Rahim 92, Mahmudullah 83*; S Lakmal 3/68, R Herath 3/150)

Sri Lanka 504/3 (K Mendis 196, De Silva 173, R Silva 87*; M Rahman 1/88)