Batting merry-go-round at Pallekelle | Sunday Observer

Batting merry-go-round at Pallekelle

25 April, 2021
Dimuth Karunaratne raises his bat after reaching a double century
Dimuth Karunaratne raises his bat after reaching a double century

Sri Lanka finished the day on 512 runs for just three wickets, a deficit of 29 runs in reply to 541 for 7 scored by Bangladesh, when bad light halted play on the fourth day of their first Test match being played at Pallekelle Stadium in Kandy yesterday.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne had taken his score to 234 runs inclusive of 25 boundaries while his partner Dhananjaya de Silva was also still unbeaten on 154 runs with 20 hits to the ropes. The pair had batted with a mixture of caution and aggression to put on 322 runs in an unbroken partnership for the fourth wicket.

The faced little threats from a the bowlers who could little on a placid pitch made for batting.

Earlier, Sri Lanka converted their good start of the day into total dominance of the Bangladesh attack. Their 3.70 run-rate was easily the highest in a session in this Test, as they reached 442 for 3 by tea, with Dhananjaya de Silva reaching his seventh Test hundred and Dimuth Karunaratne unbeaten on 184.

The pair added 252 runs, the highest fourth-wicket stand by Sri Lanka against Bangladesh, and were closing in on the highest partnership for any wicket - 258 between Michael Hussey and Shaun Marsh - at the Pallekele International Stadium.

The dominance was complete when the pair added 61 runs in the first ten overs after lunch. They picked up eight boundaries as Taskin Ahmed and Ebadat Hossain were hammered, while Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Abu Jayed also couldn’t contain the pair.

During these exchanges, de Silva reached his century with a strong pull shot off Taskin, after he had set a field targeting to bounce him out. Bangladesh’s plan to bowl short at de Silva seemed ill-conceived.

Karunaratne and de Silva slowed down slightly for the following 20 overs but there weren’t too many occasions when it looked like the visiting bowling attack had a say in the proceedings. Karunaratne survived a caught-behind chance on 166 although the Taijul Islam delivery just had to stick into Liton Das’ gloves.

Sri Lanka had a great first session too. Dimuth Karunaratne had reached his eleventh century while Dhananjaya de Silva sauntered to a fifty as they added 102 runs in the 31 overs. They hardly provided any opening to the Bangladesh bowlers who were reduced to waiting for the batters to make mistakes.

Karunaratne started slowly, taking 30 balls to move from 90 to 100. But he attacked Taskin Ahmed immediately afterwards, hitting him for three fours in an over. It allowed de Silva to also push up the scoring, as they finished the session without offering a single chance.