Karunaratne battles but Bangladesh can dare to dream

Sri Lanka 338 and 268 for 8 (Karunaratne 126, Mendis 36, Perera 26*, Mustafizur 3-52) lead Bangladesh 467 by 139 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dimuth Karunaratne’s fifth Test century kept Bangladesh at bay for large parts of day four © AFP

The Test is tantalisingly poised at the P Sara Oval. Sri Lanka, holders of a proud home record, have stretched their lead 139 runs thanks largely to two centuries: of runs from Dimuth Karunaratne and of balls by Dilruwan Perera. But Bangladesh, playing in a landmark game of their own, can rightfully consider themselves in control of the contest after picking up eight wickets on Saturday.

The day ended on a sour note for Bangladesh after umpire Aleem Dar first seemed to nod yes to an appeal, as if to suggest Suranga Lakmal had got a faint inside edge to short leg off the last ball bowled by Mosaddek Hossain. Replays, however, didn’t indicate an edge but it was yet another example of tough this Test has been for the umpires.

That Bangladesh made inroads was because the attack was led astutely by Shakib Al Hasan, who took three wickets including that of Karunaratne in the final session for 126. Having removed Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella earlier, he finished the day with three for 61 after 30 overs of accurate left-arm spin.

Yet the man instrumental for breaking Sri Lanka’s back was Mustafizur Rahman after the hosts looked steady the first session, adding 83 for the loss of just one wicket. He first dismissed Kusal Mendis in controversial fashion after replays didn’t quite suggest if he nicked to the wicketkeeper. Dhananjaya de Silva and first-innings centurion Dinesh Chandimal were out chasing wide deliveries after being starved of width for most parts of their short stay.

More to follow

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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