Shanto hits ton for Bangladesh
Visitors reach 302-2 on first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka
Najmul Shanto hit his maiden century and Tamim Iqbal 90 as Bangladesh took a rare chance to plunder runs off an opponent on the first day of their first Test in Sri Lanka yesterday.
Bangladesh, looking for their first overseas Test win for four years, made 302 for two on an easy wicket for scoring in Pallekele.
After Saif Hassan fell for a duck to Vishwa Fernando in the second over, Shanto and Tamim added 144 for the second wicket to establish Bangladesh’s dominance over the bowlers.
Shanto and captain Mominul Haque then put on an unbroken 150 runs for the third wicket.
The 22-year-old left-hander Shanto was dropped by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella on 28 but went on to reach three figures in his seventh Test.
He was on 126 at the end of the day with 14 fours and a six. Shanto said he was “relieved” to get his first ton, and had been happy to wait for Sri Lanka’s “loose balls”.
“I had worked really hard but unfortunately I wasn’t getting big runs. But I believed in my ability and I’m glad it all clicked today.”
The experienced Tamim accelerated the run scoring when he came on and narrowly missed out on a deserved century. His 29th half-century came off just 54 balls with ten boundaries.
Having reached 90 off 101 balls with 15 fours, Tamim offered a half-hearted shot and was caught by lone slip fielder Lahiru Thirimanne off Fernando’s bowling.