Chandimal, Dickwella cling on as Sri Lanka draw Bangladesh Test
CHITTAGONG – Bangladesh and Sri Lanka drew the first Test in Chittagong on Thursday (19) after Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella hung on for the visitors in a vital seventh-wicket stand of 99.
On the fifth and final day the two teams settled on a draw 45 minutes before the scheduled close of play with Sri Lanka on 260-6 in their second innings.
Dickwella was unbeaten on 61 alongside Chandimal on 39 not out at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Hosts Bangladesh made 465 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 397 as Tamim Iqbal (133) and Mushfiqur Rahim (105) played starring roles.
Player-of-the-match Angelo Mathews hit 199 to form the backbone of the Sri Lankan first innings and Nayeem Hasan claimed 6-105 for Bangladesh.
On Thursday left-arm spin duo Taijul Islam and Shakib Al Hasan had given Bangladesh hope of victory.
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne made 52 off 138 balls before he gave a catch to his counterpart Mominul Haque at midwicket off the dangerous Taijul, who ended with figures of 4-82.
Shakib soon had Dhananjaya de Silva out for 33 off 60 balls as Mushfiqur took the catch, also at midwicket, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 161-6.
Dickwella swept the next ball high but Taijul could only manage to get a finger on it at square leg.
After the scare, he and Chandimal dug in at the crease before and after the tea break to stubbornly thwart the home side.
“We tried to do something differently and put them under pressure, but we played some poor shots and then we had to change tactics,” Karunaratne said.
“We unfortunately couldn’t put pressure on Bangladesh on the last day.”
Taijul struck twice in the morning session after Sri Lanka started aggressively, resuming on 39-2.
Taijul bowled Kusal Mendis for 48 and then removed first-innings centurion Mathews for a duck, caught and bowled.
Bangladesh were one bowler short on the fifth day after paceman Shoriful Islam was ruled out of the two-Test series following a blow he received on his hand while batting on Wednesday.
“The second innings was a bit disappointing, but Shakib bowled really well in both innings. We missed Shoriful for sure, but we managed to cover for him,” skipper Mominul said.
“Every time we have to keep improving, batting, bowling or fielding, we have to keep getting better.”
The second Test starts at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday (23).