Clearly, the lesson derived from the drawn first Test where hosts Bangladesh held the upper hand is that it is imperative for Sri Lanka to up its game in all three departments. Despite the touring Lankans batting first and consuming a good part of two days it is significant that the Bangladeshis cane back strongly to take first innings honours amassing 495 runs to Sri Lanka’s 397.
There was Angelo Mathews going big guns by that marathon knock of 199 but even that run charge did not dwarf the hosts. That the former captain’s spectacular effort did not find the desired maximising down the line with the exception of Dinesh Chandimal’s 66. The thin area in the final total was best illustrated by the fact that Mathews single contribution exceeded the rests by one run.
Effectively, the Lankan first innings was a three-man show, the other noteworthy innings being Kusal Mendis’ 53 in fronting the third-wicket repair job having come together with the score on 66 for 2.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, had its batting oiled with the openers going strong fronted by Tamim Iqbal’s 133 with Mushiqur Rahim maximising it with a ton to good effect.
The Lankan second innings rode down a 98-run deficit in negotiating a challenging final day, but not without some early hicups closing on 260 for 6 largely on the unfinished 99-run partnership between Niroshan Dickwella and a sedate Dinesh Chandimal. While Dickwella atoned for his first innings lapse by his quickfire half century in denying Bangladesh of a breakthrough, the Chandimal and Kusal Mendis weight to rallying the side signified the difference the duo made to the batting department.
Going into Monday’s second Test starting at Dakha, the Lankan camp would need to look for a better snowing by the frontline bowlers if Dimuth. Karunaratne’s charges are to make a result oriented impact against the strong Bangladeshis.