Lunch Bangladesh 149 for 5 (Shakib 52*, Litton 48, Rajitha 2-40) and 365 lead Sri Lanka 506 (Mathews 145*, Chandimal 125, Shakib 5-96) by eight runs

An unbeaten 96-run sixth-wicket stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Das rescued Bangladesh from the peril they had found themselves overnight, and secured the hosts a slim lead, with five wickets still in hand. Sri Lanka had tightened their grip on the Test when Kasun Rajitha bowled Mushfiqur Rahim earlier in the day, to leave Bangladesh five down and still 88 runs behind.

But linking up with the in-form Litton, Shakib injected energy into the Bangladesh innings, completing a 61-ball half-century on the stroke of lunch to swing the momentum the way of his team. Litton, who had hit a century in the first innings, was on 48 off 137 at the break.

Although the pitch had now begun to take some turn, Sri Lanka’s spinners were unable to create any serious chances. In fact, between Praveen Jayawickrama, Ramesh Mendis, and Dhananjaya de Silva, they have not claimed a single wicket in the Test. Rajitha and Asitha Fernando have two wickets apiece this innings, with the other wicket coming from a run-out.

Shakib was almost immediately aggressive. Fifth ball, he thumped a full Rajitha delivery through the covers, before cutting him behind point, then hitting another boundary through the covers later in that same over. He rarely let bowlers deliver dot balls at him, finding singles almost at will. And when they erred in length, Shakib pounced, pounding that cover boundary with particular relish. By lunch, all but two of his seven boundaries had come in that area.

Litton, meanwhile, had successfully overturned a caught behind decision on nine, and was more conservative than Shakib, though he too made sure to score off the bad balls. He had been rapped on the pads and was somewhat streaky in the early overs, but appeared much more assured in Shakib’s company, rotating the strike effectively when the spinners were in operation. Late in the session, he completed 2000 career runs.

Sri Lanka’s only breakthrough in the extended session (they had started half an hour early), was the result of an excellent Rajitha delivery. The ball having been angled into Mushfiqur, kept low upon pitching, and skidded into off stump before Mushfiqur could get his bat down.