Tamim ton puts Bangladesh on top of Sri Lanka
CHATTOGRAM, May 17, 2022 (BSS) - Bangladesh took the stranglehold of the first Test against Sri Lanka after batters, led by opener Tamim Iqbal showed an unwavering resolve amid scorching heat at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.
Tamim though retired hurt on 133 due to muscle cramp, Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim took the charge to help Bangladesh reach 318-3 at the end of day three.
Liton was batting on 54, with Mushfiqur on 53 as Bangladesh cut the first innings deficit to 79 runs. Opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy was the other notable scorer with 58.
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 397 in its first innings, with Angelo Mathews scoring 199.
Tamim Iqbal however gave Bangladesh the edge. He hit a century after three years to establish Bangladesh's full control over the Lankan bowlers.
Tamim's last century came against New Zealand in 2019 at Hamilton and after that he went through 16 innings (eight Tests) without any ton to his name. He though out twice on 90s in this period.
But on a day when Bangladesh found them in position of dominance, Tamim didn't let that elude him as he brought up the century, playing aggressive brand of cricket.
Resuming the day on 76-0, openers Tamim and Mahmudul Hasan Joy kept the side unscathed throughout the morning session.
Tamim treated every Lankan bowlers in sheer disdain, forcing Lankan bowlers to go to defensive mode.
The elegant left-hand batter struck Vishwa Fernando consecutive boundaries in the first two balls he faced in the day and never looked back.
Fernando who was hit on his helmet by the bouncer of pacer Shoriful Islam, went to medical check-up after bowling four overs in the morning.
As his condition looked not so good, he was ruled out of the Test and Kasun Rajitha replaced him as concussion sub.
Tamim raised his 32nd half-century off just 73 balls, cutting offspinner Ramesh Mendia boundary past point.
Joy was restrained but never shied away to punish the loose deliveries, which Lankan bowlers offered in abundance.
He reached his second fifty off 112 balls, flicking pacer Asitha Fernando for doubles through mid-wicket.
Asitha could have got Joy in his next over but Lasith Embuldeniya dropped him at fine-leg when on 51.
It was the only chance, Sri Lankan bowlers could create in the entire morning session.
In the second session, Sri Lanka came back strongly, taking three wickets for just 22 runs before Tamim and Mushfiqur saw off the session without any fuss.
After surviving on 51, Joy could add just seven runs as Asitha dismissed him with a delivery that went down the leg-side. Joy smote nine fours for his 58 off 142.
After the dismissal of Joy, Tamim reached his 10th Test century off 162 balls, flicking Asitha for a single through mid-wicket.
Vishwa Fernando's concussion sub Kasun Rajitha troubled Bangladesh for a brief period and got the reward with the wicket of Najmul Hossain Shanto (1) and captain Mominul Haque (2).
While Shanto nicked a fuller length delivery to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella, Mominul found his wicket shattered with a delivery that moved lately.
Mominul now went through five single digit figure in a row and 10 times in the last 13 innings.
However despite losing three wickets for 22 runs, Bangladesh didn't get panicked as Tamim and Mushfiqur regained the control again, batting with unwavering resolve.
But Sri Lanka still could have broken the partnership and removed Tamim had Dhananajaya de Silva didn't drop the catch at slip as Tamim, on 114, went for a booming drive but managed only a thick outside edge.
Tamim retired hurt on 133 after suffering from a muscle cramp but Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim kept the side going, frustrating the Sri Lanka bowlers further.
Liton in fact played the role of Tamim, going after the visiting bowlers in aggressive fashion while Mushfiqur was largely watchful.
With the contrasting batting approach that served the team well, they shared 98-run in an unbroken stand and put Bangladesh in strong position.
Kasun Rajitha was the most successful bowler for Sri Lanka with 2-17 while Asitha Fernando took 1-55.