Chandimal also nears ton as Sri Lanka bat on


Lunch Sri Lanka 612 for 4 (Chandimal 87*, Dickwella 29*) lead Bangladesh 513 by 99 runs

Roshen Silva completed a maiden Test hundred, and Dinesh Chandimal neared his fifth against Bangladesh, as Sri Lanka’s relentless Chittagong march trod into record-breaking territory. Only four wickets down still, the visitors already have the highest score at this venue. The surface finally began to show signs of wear – a few deliveries misbehaving off the rough – but Sri Lanka were nevertheless poised to build a big lead after lunch. So long were Bangladesh made to labour in the field, that all four frontline have conceded more than a hundred runs apiece, and the third new ball had already been taken.

It was another session of Sri Lankan milestones. In the fourth over of the day, Roshen hit the single that brought up the third consecutive century stand of he innings. A few overs later, he sliced Taijul Islam behind point to collect the three that took him to triple figures for the first time in internationals. He had survived a missed stumping on 1 on the third day, but had largely been secure since that reprieve, and had showcased the grit that made him such a consistent domestic performer. When playing the spinners, it was the area behind square on the off side that he favoured.

At the other end, Chandimal did as Chandimal does in Tests, puttering along quietly and safely, occasionally coming down the crease to look as if he would play a big shot, but mostly bailing out and punching a single wide of the straight fielders. In a 183-ball innings until lunch, he hit only three boundaries: in the 116th, 140th and 168th overs of Sri Lanka’s innings. As you might imagine, it has not been fun to watch.

Niroshan Dickwella was much more positive in his approach, hitting four fours in a 30-ball 29 not out, after Roshen was caught behind off Mehidy Hasan. Both he and Chandimal survived a half-chance in the final overs before lunch. Dickwella was surprised by the bounce Mehidy gleaned with the third new ball, and sent an edge just wide of the short-leg fielder. Soon after, Chandimal’s aerial lap sweep was anticipated and almost intercepted by wicketkeeper Liton Das.

With one close lbw shout also having been turned down in the session, not much went Bangladesh’s way.



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