Kusal Mendis remained unbeaten at 166 at stumps, Day 1    AFP
Kusal Mendis remained unbeaten at 166 at stumps, Day 1 AFP

A 196-run stand for the fourth wicket between Kusal Mendis and Asela Gunaratne put Sri Lanka in the driver s seat as they finished Day One of the first Test against Bangladesh at 321 for 4. Playing at Galle, Bangladesh had started the day off on a high note, removing Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne in the first session. Sri Lanka lost another crucial wicket in Dinesh Chandimal right after lunch but recovered soon after, with crucial contributions from Mendis and Gunaratne. They eventually built big on their partnership, losing no wicket in the final session and bringing the hosts back in the game. Though Gunaratne departed for 85, Mendis remained unbeaten (166*) with Niroshan Dickwella (14*) giving him company. Full cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle

Gunaratne changed the course of the game and accelerated the scoring rate. He put up a partnership of 63 runs with Mendis at tea. However, Mendis knock was the show-stealer of the day as he stood strong amidst all odds and played with a lot of composure. He improvised within his innings, coming with better footwork towards the later part of his innings on Tuesday. Coming out to bat after tea, the two batsmen took the partnership forward to add 100 runs. They started hitting more freely and brought up 200 for the team. Gunaratne soon got to his fifty.

Gunaratne departed for 85. The hard-hitter went for a pull but was beaten by bounce. The delivery got an inside edge and Gunaratne was bowled. Dickwella showed great character, as he hit a power-packed boundary over midwicket.

Earlier, Sri Lanka lost their openers with 60 runs on the board before going for lunch. Coming back from lunch, they lost yet another wicket as Chandimal departed for a paltry score of 5. Bangladesh s Subhashis Roy bowled with discipline, pitching in the right areas and displayed excellent seam placement. Bangladesh s strategy of restricting the singles and boundaries helped them get Chandimal s wicket. However, as the day proceeded, it became tougher for them to play with only two specialist spinners.

The second session and the third session proved to be extremely fruitful for Sri Lanka and with set Mendis at the crease with Dickwella, they are likely to put up a humongous total by the end of their innings.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 155 for 3 (Kusal Mendis 166*, Asela Gunaratne 85; Mustafizur Rahman 1 for 50, Taskin Ahmed 1 for 48, Subhashis Roy 1 for 58) against Bangladesh