Karunaratne cen­tury keeps Sri Lanka ahead

New Straits Times - - Sport -

COLOMBO: Mustafizur Rah­man and Shakib Al Hasan shared six wick­ets be­tween them but Sri Lanka fought back through a fight­ing cen­tury from Dimuth Karunaratne in the sec­ond Test in Colombo yes­ter­day.

Karunaratne held one end for a long pe­riod to score 126 be­fore a dogged un­beaten in­ning of Dil­ruwan Per­era helped Sri Lanka reach 268-7 at stumps on the fourth day to stretch their lead over the vis­i­tors to 139 runs.

This much lead looked a dis­tant pos­si­bil­ity once Mustafizur and Shakib trig­gered a col­lapse in Sri Lankan in­nings in the post lunch ses­sion but Karunaratne hung on to score 126 be­fore Per­era hit an 26 off 126 balls.

Per­era re­ceived sup­port from tail-en­ders Ran­gana Herath (9 off 32 balls) and Su­ranga Lak­mal, 14 not out as the hosts were hop­ing to ex­pand their lead to give their bowlers some­thing to fight with.

Bangladesh struck in the day’s sec­ond over through off-spin­ner Me­hedi Hasan, who spun one sharply to bowl out opener Upul Tha­ranga for 26 af­ter Sri Lanka re­sumed on 54-0.

But Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis shared 86-run for the sec­ond wicket to help the hosts wipe out their first in­nings deficit and put Sri Lanka in good stead to set up de­cent tar­get for Bangladesh.

Mustafizur helped Bangladesh bounce back in the con­test with quick strikes in his sec­ond spell as Mendis edged an an­gu­lar ball out­side the off-stump to wick­et­keeper Mush­fiqur Rahim for 36.

Five overs later it was the turn of first-in­nings cen­tu­rion Di­nesh Chandi­mal, who played a loose drive to be caught be­hind for five.

Asela Gu­naratne was ad­judged leg-be­fore for seven off Shakib with­out of­fer­ing any shot be­fore Mustafizur struck again to hand Dhanan­jaya de Silva a duck.

Mustafizur claimed 3-52 for Bangladesh while Shakib fin­ished the day with 3-61. AFP

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