Sri Lanka survive for 1st Test draw

Staff WritersAP
Taijul Islam took four second-innings wickets as Bangladesh fell short of a Test win over Sri Lanka.
Camera IconTaijul Islam took four second-innings wickets as Bangladesh fell short of a Test win over Sri Lanka. Credit: AP

Sri Lanka have recovered from early trouble on the fifth and final day of the series-opening Test to hold out for a draw in Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka were 6-161 in their second innings about halfway through the middle session on Thursday, leading by 93 runs, and were saved by Dinesh Chandimal (39 not out) and Niroshan Dickwella (61no).

After Sri Lanka posted 397 before Bangladesh replied with 465, taking a 68-run first-innings lead, play was mutually ended 73 overs into the final day at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram with the tourists 6-260.

Sri Lanka made a rapid start after resuming the day at 2-39, with Kusal Mendis unleashing a powerful attack with two boundaries in the first over from left-arm spinner Taijul Islam.

Mendis scored 48 from 43 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and a six, before he was dismissed by Taijul to a ball that spun past him and clipped off stump.

Taijul also tormented Angelo Mathews, who scored 199 in the first innings but was out for a 15-ball duck when he charged the bowler and gave up a return catch.

Dhananjaya de Silva joined captain Dimuth Karunaratne to resist a pumped-up Bangladeshi bowling attack, but Karunaratne's serenity paid off as he reached his 28th Test fifty.

Taijul (4-82) grabbed the fifth wicket of Karunaratne (52) but Dhananjaya and Chandimal ate up some valuable time, batting with utmost patience, which gradually dashed the hosts' hope to force a result.

Dhananjaya (33) was the sixth wicket down, falling to Shakib.

But Chandimal and Dickwella remained rock solid with the later raising his 20th half-century from 83 balls. Dickwella has gone 48 Tests without a century but he successfully thwarted Bangladesh from an unlikely victory.

"If you take first innings, we could have done much better," Karunaratne said at the presentation ceremony.

"As a side we should have put up a big score, unfortunately we couldn't do that."

Mathews was adjudged man-of-the-match for his first innings knock.

The second and last Test starts on Monday in Dhaka.

With Reuters.

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