The Financial Express

Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh first Test ends in stalemate

| Updated: April 29, 2021 19:39:39

Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh first Test ends in stalemate

It was always the likeliest result, and rain ensured that the first Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Pallekele ended as a high-scoring draw. No play was possible after tea on the final day, leaving Bangladesh on 100 for 2 in their second innings, but that was only of academic interest as the two huge first-innings totals made sure there was little drama anticipated.

There were flutters for Bangladesh after Sri Lanka declared 107 runs in front, as they lost two early wickets, but these were dispelled by Tamim Iqbal's second attacking half-century in the game. Iqbal started with three fours and two sixes, off Dhananjaya de Silva, even as Saif Hassan and Najmul Hossain Shanto fell in the space of 15 deliveries. Afterwards, he hit three fours off Vishwa Fernando, which took him from 38 to 50.

Iqbal was unbeaten on 74 off 98 balls with ten fours and three sixes, out of Bangladesh's 100 for 2. Mominul Haque, who made his first overseas Test century in the first innings, was not out on 23 at the other end.

Sri Lanka had earlier declared their innings during the lunch break, having reached 648 for 8. Dimuth Karunaratne and de Silva were both dismissed on the fifth morning, Taskin Ahmed striking in successive overs. They added 345 runs, the highest fourth-wicket partnership in Sri Lanka, and against Bangladesh.

Karunaratne made 244 off 437 balls with 26 fours, his highest Test score and maiden double-hundred, while de Silva scored 166 off 291 balls with 22 fours, his second highest Test score. Wanindu Hasaranga's breezy 43 helped them take the lead past 100 runs within the first session.

For Bangladesh, Ahmed's 3 for 112 was the best bowling effort - and the bowler's best in a short Test career - while Taijul Islam took two wickets. It was however a match to forget for the bowlers from either side, as they went for a combined average of 75.82 for their 17 wickets, the most in a Test in Sri Lanka in seven years.

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