CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: Sri Lanka spinners led by Rangana Herath took three crucial wickets late in day four to leave Bangladesh with an uphill task of saving the opening Test in Chittagong yesterday.
Bangladesh reached 81 for three at stumps, still needing 119 to make Sri Lanka bat again. The visitors declared their first innings at 713 for nine in the final session.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera dismissed Imrul Kayes for 19 before left-arm unorthodox bowler Lakshan Sandakan got Tamim Iqbal caught behind for 41.
Herath then removed Mushfiqur Rahim for two with his left-arm spin in the last over of the day.
Mominul Haque - 18 not out - was at the crease when the players walked back after another run-filled day.
“We have a pretty good chance to win the Test. It is a pretty good wicket. It is all turning from the rough, and outside the stumps,” said Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
“We are hoping to start the (fifth and final) day well. We are bowling in good areas, line and length.”
Sri Lanka declared their innings in the third over into the final session with a lead of 200 runs in response to Bangladesh’s first innings total of 513.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who returned figures of four for 219, took two wickets off his successive overs to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings.
Taijul got the all-important wicket of skipper Dinesh Chandimal for 87 before off-spinner Mehedi Hasan removed Dickwella for 62 to slow down the Sri Lankan progress.
“It is a batting wicket, but we didn’t bowl to that level. I think they made 100 runs too many,” said Taijul.
Debutant left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam got his maiden Test wicket, trapping Dilruwan Perera leg-before for 32.
Roshen Silva joined the run fest in the morning session to post his maiden Test century after Sri Lanka resumed on 504 for three.
He made 109 off 230 balls before becoming the first batsman dismissed on the day.
Silva was Sri Lanka’s third century maker of the innings after Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva, who made 196 and 173 runs respectively.
Mehedi ended Silva’s impressive innings when the right-hander edged a low delivery to wicketkeeper Liton Das.
Silva shared a 135-run stand with Chandimal for the fourth wicket and hit six fours and a six.