Mushfiqur’s 175 puts Bangladesh in control against Sri Lanka

Mushfiqur Rahim’s unbeaten 175 helped Bangladesh move into a strong position in the second cricket test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday despite a fightback led by visiting captain Dimuth Karunaratne late on Day 2.

Mushfiqur and Liton Das (141) scored all but 49 of Bangladesh’s runs in its total of 365, combining for a record sixth-wicket partnership of 272 runs after the host had been reeling at 24-5 at one point.

Bangladesh, which had six batters dismissed for ducks, was all out soon after lunch and only took two wickets in nearly two sessions as Sri Lanka fought back to trail by 222 runs at stumps.

“Mushfiqur Rahim and me tried to bat as long as it is possible,” Das said. “We were successful in executing our plan. Now the target is to take one or two wickets in the first hour tomorrow and gain a lead.”

Karunaratne was not out on 70, having shared a 95-run stand with Oshada Fernando (57) for the opening wicket as a disciplined Bangladesh attack struggled to get any assistance from the pitch.

Fernando reviewed successfully to overturn an lbw appeal when on 4 in the first over of the innings, while Karunaratne could have gone for 37 had skipper Mominul Haque not dropped him at short square-leg.

Pacer Ebadot Hossain (1-31) broke through with the wicket of Fernando, who edged a length delivery to slip soon after reaching his fifth half-century.

Just before stumps, left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan (1-19) gave Bangladesh another breakthrough, trapping Kusal Mendis lbw for 11. Mendis returned to join the team after being hospitalised with chest pain on Monday.

Bangladesh began the day on 277-5 and Kusan Rajitha struck in the eighth over, having Liton caught at second slip to end his long stand with Mushfiqur.

“There’s some movement in Dhaka which is good for the pacers. Maybe tomorrow and day after there will be turn for spinners,” Sri Lanka pacer Kasun Rajitha said. “It was disappointing for me and team as well that they were 24-for-5, but they batted really well after that.”

Rajitha struck again three balls later, securing his first five-wicket haul in a test innings by getting Mosaddek Hossain (0) caught behind to a delivery that moved slightly.

Mushfiqur remained resolute, reaching 150 — from 291 balls — when he nudged a delivery from offspinner Ramesh Mendis past square leg.

Asitha Fernando dismissed Taijul Islam (15) and Khaled Ahmed (0) but Mushfiqur resisted further with No. 11 Ebadot Hossain.

Mushfiqur ran out of partners, denying him a fourth double century, when Hossain was run out for 0 after facing 20 deliveries.

Mushfiqur was at the crease for 527 minutes and played 355 balls for a knock that included 21 boundaries. It was his fourth highest score in tests.

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