Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh batman to hit century in each innings of a Test © AFP
Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh batman to hit century in each innings of a Test © AFP

Mominul Haque and Liton Das shared 106 runs in a crucial stand for the fourth wicket to help Bangladesh edge closer to safety in the first Test against Sri Lanka Sunday. The hosts reached 187 for 3 at lunch on the fifth day in Chittagong, needing just 13 runs to make Sri Lanka bat again after resuming on 81 for 3 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Mominul, who top scored with 176 in the first innings, batted sensibly again to be 70 not out at the break.

Liton Das (47 not out) gave him perfect company as he closed in on his third Test fifty. Sri Lanka held a 200-run first innings lead after posting a mammoth 713 for 9 declared in reply to Bangladesh’s 513. They were hoping to carry their momentum to the final day after picking up a wicket off the last ball on Saturday when Rangana Herath removed Mushfiqur Rahim.

But Mominul, 18 not out overnight, batted with confidence, hitting a six straight over the head of left-arm spinner Herath in the fifth over. A short ball from Lahiru Kumara struck Mominul on the helmet but he appeared unfazed and scored a single off the next ball, becoming the highest run scorer for Bangladesh in a single Test match. Mominul, who reached 56 with the single, overtook Tamim Iqbal’s aggregate of 231 runs against Pakistan in Khulna in 2015.