Promising day ends in frustration

Bangladesh pacer Subashis Roy (L) celebrates the wicket of Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga (R) on the first day of the opening Test match at Galle on Tuesday. — AFP photo

Bangladesh ended their first day of the opening Test match against Sri Lanka on a frustrating note as the hosts took a firm grip of the match despite being challenged earlier at Galle on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka were 321-4 when the stumps were drawn two overs from the schedule due to bad light on a day started on a promising note for Bangladesh before ending in frustration.
The Tigers’ disappointment resulted few silly mistakes by their fielders, which only aggravated the problems of the visiting side at the Galle International Stadium.
Kusal Mendis survived luckily before opening his account as pace bowler Subashis Roy found an inside edge that was taken neatly by wicketkeeper Liton Kumar Das only for the umpires to declare it as a no-ball for overstepping upon television replay.
Bangladesh lost the opportunity to reduce Sri Lanka to 15-2 but neither that happened nor they could keep up the momentum till the end of the day’s play largely due to Kusal’s unbeaten 166 .
Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan, who claimed just one wicket for 66 runs in his 12 overs, did not hesitate to hide his disappointment as he felt things could have been different if they had removed Kusal initially.
‘If he had gotten out things would have been different,’ Mehedi told reporters at Galle on Tuesday.
‘I can only say that it was bad luck. We all tried our best and no one bowls a no-ball on purpose, it happens. But still, he [ Kusal] handled it well afterwards,’ said Mehedi.
While Mendis tested Bangladesh’s patience with his cautious approach, it was Asela Gunuratne’s counter attack on his way to a half century that left the tourist short of plans as their plans of putting Sri Lanka into pressure by slowing down their runs rate completely misfired.
Mendis and Gunuratne (85) added 196 runs for the fourth wicket to take a complete control of the match that only added more frustration in Tigers’ dressing room.
The made Bangladesh’s spinners look nothing more than ordinary as Mehedi leaked more than five runs and Sakib Al Hasan troubled them hardly in his 24 overs
Mehedi said there was hardly anything for the spinners in the wicket as the ball was coming onto the bat nicely, which the hosts exploited to the fullest.
‘There was really not much help from the wicket for the spinners. I bowled, Sakib bhai did too and there was not much help,’ said Mehedi.
‘On this wicket, spinners cannot easily take wickets unless the batsmen make mistakes. But pacers have more chances of taking wickets if they bowl in the right areas,’ he said, supporting the plan of using three pace bowlers at the expense of a genuine spinner.
Bangladesh looked to lose their gas by the time they completed their 70th over as two overthrows occured in the span of quick succession as well as some casual approach by the seniors were evident in the field.
Despite being pushed, Mehedi believed they still have the chance to make a comeback.
‘Already they have lost four top-order batsmen. They have two main batsmen left. So hopefully if tomorrow we can get the two at the crease, their lower order batsmen will come to the crease,’ said Mehedi.
‘And the lower order batsmen will not be able to score many runs on this wicket. So our target will be to check the runs and get the wickets in the tomorrow morning,’ he said.

Source: New Age