Bangladesh have made good progress in response to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 397 in the ongoing opening Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
At stumps on Day III, the hosts were 318 for 3, riding on a century from Tamim Iqbal, and half-centuries from his opening partner Mahmudul Hasan (58), Mushfiqur Rahim (53 batting) and Liton Das (54 batting). At present, Bangladesh are only 79 adrift of the Sri Lankan first-innings total.
Tamim struggling with cramps and not coming out to bat after tea on Tuesday following his superb 133-run knock was certainly unfortunate for Bangladesh, as they also suffered a mini-collapse losing three wickets for only 22 from being 162 without loss.
Bangladesh were 220 for 3 when wicketkeeper-batsman Liton joined Rahim in the middle. That certainly was a tricky period for Bangladesh, while it gave Sri Lanka a scope to exert further pressure on the home team.
But Liton did justice to his abilities, focusing largely on his natural game while Rahim held the other end up, remaining solid in defence. Together, Rahim and Liton have so far stitched a vital 98-run stand that helped Bangladesh past 300 alongside setting them up for a sizeable lead.
What augurs well for Bangladesh is that their premier player Shakib-al Hasan is yet to bat. If Tamim regains fitness, he, too, should be back to resume his knock.
Sri Lanka lost two reviews, while Liton got a lucky break when he was put down at short leg, when on 33.
Liton got to his fifty off 97 balls, pulling a half-tracker from Lasith Embuldeniya for a boundary. Mushfiqur took 125 deliveries to get to his half-century late in the final session.