Karunaratne, Mendis give Sri Lanka lead

Lunch Sri Lanka 338 and 137 for 1 (Karunaratne 67*, Mendis 36*) lead Bangladesh 467 by eight runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dimuth Karunaratne scored his 12th Test half-century © AFP

Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis calmed things down for Sri Lanka after Upul Tharanga’s dismissal in the second over of the morning. Sri Lanka led Bangladesh by eight runs at the end of the first session that saw the visitors also create some more chances.

Mehedi Hasan, with his first ball of the day, created a similar delivery with which he had taken his first Test wicket, that of Ben Duckett in Chittagong last October. He let the ball rip on a good length and got Tharanga to play inside the line of the ball, but the turn took it away and hit off stump.

The wicket created an instant buzz within the fielders. Soon, Mustafizur Rahman got Kusal Mendis, the new batsman, to edge towards the slips with a slower delivery, but the ball fell short.

Mendis and Karunaratne did well to diffuse the visitors after that. From around the seventh over of the morning, they started finding boundaries but they did offer a chance, too, around the same time when a Mendis flick off Mehedi hit Imrul Kayes’ knee. The ball flew so quickly off the bat that there was hardly any time to react for Imrul and it would not qualify as a proper chance but such half chances often change the course of a game. Mendis was on 12 at the time.

Karunaratne, meanwhile, batted quietly and reached his 12th Test fifty, off 92 balls. It was an important innings for the left-handed opener whose last home 50-plus score was in October 2015 when he scored 186 against West Indies in Galle.

In the last 30 minutes of the first session, Bangladesh dried up the boundaries and nearly got another wicket when Mendis was sent back by Karunaratne for a run while Sabbir Rahman swooped in on the ball from point. But his throw went a bit too wide and Mendis survived on 28. Later in the same over, Sri Lanka got into the lead when Mendis swept a delivery behind square for a boundary and the hosts went to the lunch break in a stronger position.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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