Tamim Iqbal made it his day stroking 133 off 217 balls topped by 15 boundaries before retiring hurt from cramps as Bangladesh swept to 318 for 3 wickets making light of Sri Lanka’s first innings 397 on the third day of the first test at Chattogram’s Zahar Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Tuesday. Just 79 short of overhauling the touring Lankans, Bangladesh was sitting pretty with seven wickets intact.
The home team made its own backyard its happy hunting grounds on a day wicket-keeper batsman Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, who was unbeaten on 53, inched their way in a race to becoming the first Bangla batsman to score 5000 Test runs. The perfect setting to it was the 162-run first-wicket fronting between Iqbal and Mahmudal Hasan Joy who made 58 off 142 fanning 9 boundaries.
It was ironic that Tamim, who looked closer to reaching the 5000 milestone when in full cry, was forced to leave the field due to recurring cramps. The hard hitting opener was left 19 short of the milestone while Mushiqur Rahim, who benefitted by it, was 15 short of it and now looking the most likely to becoming the first to the landmark. His 134-ball unfinished innings of controlled temperament contained just the two boundaries with history beckoning the star batsman when play resumes on the penultimate day of the match.
The only respite the Sri Lankans had was when prime seamer, Kasun Rajitha, introduced as late as the sixth change bowler, wrung out Najimul Hossain Shanto for 1 and skipper Monul Haque for 2 in quick succession. The other Lankan sucess was the wicket of Mohmudal Hasan Joy by seamer Asitha Fernando who opened the bowling.
In what will be of interest to the 5000-run gallop by Tamim Iqbal on Wednesday, his 10th test century came afer five failed attempts against Sri Lanka when he fell in the 90’s.
CHIEF SCORES: SRI LANKA 397(Angelo Mathews 199, Dinesh Chandimal 66, Kusal Mendis 54, Oshada Fernando 36) BANGLADESH 318/3 (107 Overs) (Tamim Iqbal retd. hurt 133, Mahmudal Hasan Joy 58, Mushiqur Rahim n.o. 53, Kasun Rajitha 2/17)