Skipper Dimuth Karunarate and Dhananjaya de Silva transformed the pressure cooker back to the wall 512 deficit scenario into a mighty gold value batting feats with the latter converting his overnight unbeaten 85 where he left yesterday to a record maiden double century – 234 and Dhananjaya de Silva from 29 to 154 in a still on song 322-run highest fourth wicket alliance in on Sri Lankan soil in a total of 512 for 3 in reply to Bangladesh’s 541 for 7 declared at the close of a bad light affected fourth day’s play of the first test at the Pallekelle International Cricket Ground on Saturday. The spotless batsman-ship reduced the opposition to a wicket-less day. It beat the 258 between Michael Hussey and Shaun Marsh in 2011.
Both, the left-handed Karunaratne and right-handed De Silva touched greatness in a cohesive blending of contrasting styles to the team cause. The stoic Karunaratne decorated himself in a truly brilliant captain to the fore team resurrecting rearguard 11-hour effort showcased by a 419-ball stay illuminated by 25 boundaries from the very first ball of the Lankan innings culminating in pulling his side out of the woods to matching Bangladesh shoulder to shoulder in a high scoring first innings fiesta between the two sides. It was as much the drumming out of a personal triumph in riding to a double ton by a boundary off Taskin Ahmed, and ready to take it from there when play resumes on the fifth and final day. He thus went on to surpass his previous highest score of 196. It also capped his 11th test ton in a career heightened by 25 half tons.
Meanwhile, the 29-year old Dhananjaya de Silva’s 278-ball innings laced with 20 boundaries thus far for his ninth test century, once again underlined the tremendous punishing copybook stroke-maker he has risen to in stamping himself as the Mr. Reliable of the side in giving depth to the middle order in any given situation. If Karunaratne was sedately the mainstay goliath of holding the innings together, Dhananjaya de Silva added the elastic like tempo to increasing the momentum.
BANGLADESH 474/4 overnight, 541/7 decl. (173 Overs) RR: 3.12
(Mushfiqur Rahim n.o. 68, Liton Das 50, Vishwa Fernando 4/96, Suranga Lakmal 1/81, Lahiru Kumara 1/88, Dhananjaya de Silva 1/130)
SRI LANKA 229/3 O/N, 512/3 (149 Overs) RR: 3.43
(Dimuth Karunaratne n.o. 234, Dhananjaya de Silva n.o. 154, Lahiru Thirimanne 58, Angelo Mathews 25, Oshada Fernando 20, Taskin Ahmed 1/91, Miraz 1/123, Taijul Islam 1/136)