Fizz, Sakib make Tigers dream
The first 100 balls Dilruwan Perera faced he scored just 12 runs. In plain eyes it may look very ordinary batting, but going by the story of fourth day in Bangladesh-Sri Lanka second Test it would get highest rating from any one.
Perera finished the day unbeaten on 26 after facing 126 balls, an innings which could now very well be the turning point of the game that changed the allegiances in every alternate session.
The proceedings of the day would make any Bangladeshi fan dreaming, but Perera did not allow the game tilting completely to Tigers way. Thanks to his stubborn innings, Sri Lanka reached 268-8 at stumps with a lead of 139 runs, which can always be handy on a fifth day track.
The scenario could have been completely different if few things, especially a 50-50 umpiring decision, had come to Bangladesh’s way.
Sakib al Hasan struck Perera plumb in his front foot in the 78th over of Sri Lankan innings, but umpire Aleem Dar remained unmoved despite a very confident appeal.
Bangladesh had just wasted their second review, so could do nothing but to shake their heads and accept the decision, which in turn appeared to be a very crucial blow for the side.
If Perera was out at that point on four, Sri Lanka would have lost their seventh wicket with their tail finally exposed.
Dimuth Karunaratne — Sri Lanka’s second innings centurion with 126 off 244 balls — was still at the crease, but he was there since the morning to hold one end for Sri Lanka.
Sakib and Mustafizur Rahman caused mayhem in the other end to push the hosts to the brink only for Dar’s late blunder helped them changed the momentum.
Sakib soon removed Karunaratne, who after a brave fight, finally made a mistake, edging one to Soumya Sarkar at slip for the fielder to take his fifth catch of the game, a record for Bangladesh.
But Perera hang on and with some support from tail-ender Rangana Herath (nine off 32 balls) and Suranga Lakmal , 14 not out, took Sri Lanka to where they wanted to be at the end of day’s play after mid-innings collapse.
The day began promisingly for Bangladesh as Mehedi Hasan spun his first ball in what was the second over of the morning sharply to uproot the off-stump off overnight batsman Upul Tharanga (26).
But Karunaratne added 86 runs with Kusal Mendis for the second wicket to wipe out their 129-run first innings deficit and put Sri Lanka in the lead taking them to 137-2 at the lunch break.
Mendis hit one on toe of Imrul Kayes at forward short-leg and survived a run out owing to an erroneous throw of Sabbir Rahman but Bangladesh did not take too long to dismiss him.
A half-hearted appeal from Mustafiz ended up with a big opening as Mendis played an angular ball outside the off-stump that gave his bat a feather touch before reaching to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
Umpires initially turned down the appeal but Bangladesh reviewed it to get a surprise result. Mustafiz then removed first innings centurion Dinesh Chandimal, who played a loose drive to be caught behind for five.
Sakib trapped Asela Gunaratne in front as the batsman was adjudged leg-before for seven without offering any shot.
Mustafiz struck again to hand Dhananjaya de Silva a duck before Niroshan Dickwella (five) gave Mushfiq his fourth catch in the session, this time down the leg off Sakib.
Source: New Age