Stumps Sri Lanka 143 for 2 (Karunaratne 70*, Oshada 57, Shakib 1-19) trail Bangladesh 365 (Mushfiqur 175*, Litton 141, Rajitha 5-64, Asitha 4-93) by 222 runs
By stumps, Sri Lanka were 222 runs behind, eight wickets in hand, and Karunaratne still going strong on 70 not out. Although Bangladesh could yet take control of the Test, Sri Lanka perhaps ended the second day in a stronger position than they had begun it. They conceded only 90 further runs as their seamers hunted down the last five Bangladesh wickets. And, they now have a base for their own first innings, with in-form batters still to come.
With his last recognised batting partner now out, Mushfiqur kicked into a busier gear. He searched proactively for scoring opportunities, resorting even to the reverse sweep he had shunned for much of his innings. The first 127 runs of his innings had come off 277 balls; the last 48 off 78.
Asitha Fernando struck twice with bouncers to take two tail-end wickets, before last man Ebadot Hossain frustrated Sri Lanka for the extra half-an-hour the umpires granted the visitors beyond the scheduled lunch. But Bangladesh could only add four further runs after the break before Ebadot was run out at the non-striker’s end, attempting a second run to keep Mushfiqur on strike early in a Rajitha over.
In response, Sri Lanka’s openers began confidently enough. Oshada survived a review for caught behind down the legside in the first over, but got early boundaries away to get himself into the innings. Karunaratne was more assured at the other end, both batters progressing busily against the new ball. Oshada survived another review – this time for lbw – on 39, but Taijul’s excellent, straightening delivery was projected only to hit the outside of off stump, resulting in umpire’s call. Soon after, he came down the track and smashed one back at Shakib Al Hasan, who got both hands to the tough chance to his right, but could not hold on. Oshada charged Shakib again shortly before the tea break, this time to launch him for a straight six that took him to his fifth Test half-century.
Karunaratne was content for Oshada to have the majority of the strike early on, but took more control once his opening partner had edged Ebadot to slip for 57. As usual, he rarely went after the big boundary shots, but did not miss out on the chance to pick up singles square of the wicket on either side.
He had some fortune too. On 36, a full Ebadot delivery hit him on the boot as he missed a clip to the legside, and although the lbw appeal was turned down, it would have been overturned had Bangladesh reviewed. Shortly after, he was dropped at short leg off Taijul’s bowling on 37, although this was a ball that travelled rapidly to the fielder, off the middle of the bat as Karunaratne whipped square.
The rest of his innings was uneventful, however, as he made his way to his 29th half-century and onwards. Through the late stages of the day, he watched Kusal’s laboured 11 off 49, before Shakib trapped Kusal in front. Karunaratne went to stumps in the company of nightwatchman Rajitha, who had faced 11 balls and not scored a run.