Sri Lanka hold on as Bangladesh sniff rare overseas win

Colombo: Riding on a valiant century from Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka reached 268/8 in their second innings at close of play, building a lead of 139 runs over Bangladesh at the P. Sara Oval here on Saturday.

Mustafizur Rahman (3/52) and Shakib Al Hasan (3/61) shared six wickets between them to run through the hosts' batting order and hand Bangladesh a rare shot at victory on the opponents' home turf in their 100th Test, reports

Sri Lanka then produced two useful partnerships as Dilruwan Perera (26) and Suranga Lakmal (17) stuck in until stumps after Karunaratne struck his fifth Test century to keep the innings afloat.

The left-handed opener hit 10 boundaries and a six before falling to Shakib with a catch in the slips in the final session. Taijul Islam then trapped home skipper Rangana Herath (9) in front.

Earlier, Karunaratne and Mendis put up stiff resistance before lunch to put Sri Lanka ahead after the islanders resumed on an overnight score of 54/0.

Bangladesh struck early in the morning session when Mehedi Hasan Miraz got Upul Tharanga (26) with a beautiful turner with his first ball. Since then Bangladesh bowlers struggled to trouble the batsmen.

Mendis, who scored 194 in the first innings at Galle, looked comfortable in patiently negotiating some sharp turners from Bangladesh spinners while Subashis Roy and Mustafizur Rahman produced good bounce from the pitch.

The tourists, however, turned the tables on Sri Lanka who slipped to 199/6 in 69 overs at tea after managing just 62 runs at the expense of five wickets in the second session.

Mustafizur accounted for the wicket of Mendis (36) when Bangladesh overturned an on-field decision for caught behind through review. The third umpire concluded that there was a slight deviation and a noise to adjudge him out.

The end of the 86-run second-wicket stand triggered a slide. Mustafizur then sent back the last innings centurion Dinesh Chandimal (5) and Dhananjaya de Silva (0) also caught behind while Shakib snared the wickets of Asela Gunaratne (7) and Niroshan Dickwella (5).

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim contributed with four catches behind the stumps, including two stunners.

Karunaratne, however, held his ground at one end, getting an outside edge off Mustafizur for four to reach his century off 168 deliveries, containing nine boundaries and a six.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 338 & 268/8 (Dilruwan Pereira 26 not out, Suranga Lakmal 16 not out, Mustafizur Rahman 3/52, Shakib Al Hasan 3/61) vs Bangladesh 467