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29 Nov 2020
The first Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Pallekele ended in a draw after the final day of the game was curtailed by rain on Sunday. Bangladesh who batted first in what was a run feast at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium posted 541/7 (D) in the first innings.
Opener Tamim Iqbal struck 90 while Najmul Hossain and captain Mominul Haque notched up individual tons during the course. While Hossain scored 163, Haque got out for 127. Apart from them, Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das also struck individual fifties for the side.
Vishwa Fernando was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka in the innings after he scalped four wickets for 96 in 35 overs.
The home side then rode on some scintillating batting from Dimuth Karunaratane who scored 244 and Dhananjaya de Silva who went on to score 166 during the course to put 648/8 in reply.
Lahiru Thirimane also chipped in with a half-century for Sri Lanka while Taskin Ahmed bagged three wickets for Bangladesh and Taijul Islam picked up a couple.
The hosts took a first innings lead of 107 runs.
Bangladesh then came out to bat in the second innings on Day 5. The Lankan team did pick up two early wickets but opener Tamim showed his class and took on the bowlers to score 74* off 98.
Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal had both the wickets to his name in the second innings before the match was halted by the rain and eventually ended as a draw.
Karunaratne who was adjudged man of the match for his knock said that he had a struggling time in West Indies and wanted to score runs at home.
“I had a very tough time in the West Indies, so I wanted to make the most of these conditions. We thought the wicket would have pace and bounce, but the conditions and heat made the pitch flat. Bangladesh batters also played really well,” he said.
The encounter witnessed huge amounts of runs being scored and the Sri Lanka captain admitted that the track didn’t really have much to offer to the bowlers.
“There was nothing much for the bowlers, it was a batting paradise. There was no threat for the batsmen in the second innings as well, nothing much we could have done on this kind of a wicket. We need something in the pitch for the bowlers (in the next game), because we need 20 wickets to win,” he added.
Bangladesh skipper Mominul credited the team for their performance. “It was a team performance, everyone contributed really well, especially Shanto. Tamim and Mushy also played crucial knocks and the bowlers, especially Taskin and the spinners, tried really hard,” he said.
The second and final Test will begin on April 29 at the same venue.