Young Kusal Mendis missed out on a maiden double hundred and the chance to become the second youngest Sri Lankan to reach the milestone after Mahela Jayawardene. Thanks to his effort and half-centuries from Asela Gunaratne (85), Niroshan Dickwella (75) and Dilruwan Perera (51), Sri Lanka posted 494 in their first innings. Bangladesh openers added 118 runs for the first wicket, their best stand for that wicket against Sri Lanka before the hosts hit back with two quick wickets. Bangladesh finished day two of the first Test on 133 for two.
Sri Lanka had put down chances off both batsmen and the opening stand was looking threatening when out of the blues, Niroshan Dickwella produced a run out.
Tamim Iqbal had posted his 21st half-century and was looking good when he attempted a glance off Lakshan Sandakan. The ball brushed his pads and he assumed it had gone past the keeper and took a couple of strides forward, but Dickwella flicked the bails to complete the run out.
Mominul Haque, Bangladesh’s best batsman with a Test average of 49, departed for seven when he was trapped leg before wicket by Dilruwan Perera.
Dilruwan enjoyed a good day, having earlier notched up his third Test fifty.
Mendis was outstanding. Resuming on his overnight score of 166, he went past his career best of 176 made against Australia last year after a nervous moment. When on 175, he hooked Subashis Roy, the fine-leg fielder Mustafizur Rahman took a few steps backwards to complete the catch but inadvertently went over the boundary ropes.
Mendis attempted to complete his double hundred in glorious fashion. On 194, he lofted Mehedi Hasan but failed to clear long-on, Tamim took a good catch, threw the ball in the air as he was losing balance, gained composure and completed the catch. He batted for over seven hours and faced 285 deliveries and hit 19 fours and four sixes.
After being caught off a no-ball before opening the account, Mendis made most of the opportunity to give Sri Lanka a big total.
Wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella was entertaining scoring 75 runs off 76 deliveries with six fours and a six,
Sri Lanka lead by 361 runs and Lakshan Sandakan looked the most effective bowler troubling the batsmen.
Sri Lanka have won their last five Tests at home and the third day’s play today will be crucial for the outcome of the game.