Sri Lanka looking to post 550
The second Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Test has been almost identical to the first except for the fact that roles are swapped.
Rain stopped play and called an early stumps on day two with Sri Lanka on 469/6 after 155.5 overs. Niroshan Dickwella, who is on run-a-ball 64, will have a key role in speeding up the rate to a score where Sri Lanka can feel they are safe.
In the first Test, Bangladesh declared on 541/7 after being on 474/4 on day two. Sri Lanka found themselves in a 107-run lead. However, this Pallekele pitch has already showed signs of significant turn to trouble batters as the match goes on.
“What we had planned for was to give them 15-20 overs to bat at the end of today. But because of the weather, and we lost a few wickets in a cluster, we got stuck a little bit in the middle. From what I saw from the surface 550 would be a good score,” said Oshada Fernando, who struck 81 runs off 221 balls in the innings.
“They bowled well in the morning, so we weren’t able to score quickly then. They kept the line and length very well. Because there was a bit of cloud cover, they probably had some help from the surface as well.”
Sri Lanka have inexperienced spinners Ramesh Mendis, who is playing his second Test, and debutant Praveen Jayawickrama. Bangladesh still have a big task to do on this pitch.
“The pitch was also was a bit slower today than it was yesterday. The ball tended to stick in the wicket a bit. I think by tomorrow or day after tomorrow, there will be some turn on this surface. There weren’t many footmarks yet, but maybe if it pitches there there could be some turn.”
Speaking of his own performance, Oshada has expressed his disappointment over not joining his captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne as the third centurion of the innings. He slashed at wider balls and luckily for him, he did not nick one behind.
The pair of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Liton Das, who took a brilliant catch, ended Oshada’s dream of a second Test hundred.
“I’m very disappointed about not getting to a hundred. I was out for 90-odd in the West Indies as well, and when you’re a batsman you feel you need to get those runs. It doesn’t matter where I get to bat – No. 3 or 4, or wherever, what you have to do is score runs as a batsman,” he said.