Chandimal (86*) played a lone hand and took his side to 238 for 7 at stumps on Day 1    AFP (File Photos)
Chandimal (86*) played a lone hand and took his side to 238 for 7 at stumps on Day 1 AFP (File Photos)

One of Sri Lankan XI s most experienced batsman, Dinesh Chandimal played a lone hand on Day One of the second Test against Bangladesh at Colombo and took his side to a decent score of 238 for 7. At stumps, he was unbeaten on 86 along with Rangana Herath, who was 18 not out. Chandimal braved all the odds to get to his 12th Test fifty. He took on the bowlers with some luck going his way and scripted a Sri Lankan comeback after the hosts were at one stage tottering at 70 for 4. He found able allies, earlier in Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella, both of whom scored 34, and then in Herath, with whom he was involved in unbroken 43-run eighth wicket stand. Full Cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Colombo

For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehedi Hasan Miraz took two wickets each while Subashis Roy, Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam took a wicket apiece. The touring side did well in the field on the first day, with their bowlers being right on money for most part of the game. Bangladesh s fielding was disciplined, with their fielders taking few sharp catches in the day.

However, the visitors would not be as pleased as they should have been at the end of the day. They were a tad unlucky as a coupled of tough decisions went against them. Chandimal was the lucky survivor on both the occasions. He first escaped a close LBW call, as the TV Umpire found that the ball was sliding down the leg. Moreover, there was no conclusive evidence on ball hitting the bat before the catch at slip was completed. He then escaped a tough call when Mehedi Hasan took a stunning running in from fine leg off his top edge. The umpires were not convinced of the catch being taken cleanly, and hence Chandimal’s vigil continued.

But barring these two chances, Chandimal s innings was near flawless. He came in at a time when the Bangladesh bowlers were going great guns. He fought hard for his runs, stitched vital partnerships and almost single-handedly lent his side s total some respectability.

Herath won the toss and opted to bat first on a track which though was good for batting for first 2-3 days, but also a lot drier than traditional P Sara Oval tracks, as Russell Arnold would say at the pitch report. Sri Lankan top order proved the captain s decision wrong as the home side lost early wickets. Dimuth Karunaratne (7) was removed by Mustafizur while Kusal Mendis (5) was stumped off Mehedi s bowling. With Upul Tharanga (11) and Asela Gunaratne (13) also failing, Sri Lanka found themselves at 70 for 4 at lunch.

From here on, Chandimal first added 66 runs with Dhananjaya for the fifth wicket and then added 44 with Dickwella for the sixth wicket, bringing his 12th Test fifty in the process. Once Dickwella fell for 34 at the team score of 180, followed by Dilruwan Perera s quick dismissal, it looked like Sri Lankan innings may fold on Day One. But Herath then joined forces with Chandimal and added 43* runs for the eighth wicket, taking team score to 238 for 7 in 83.1 overs before bad light stopped play and brought early stumps on Day One.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had made a solitary change for this Test, bringing in Dhananjaya for Lahiru Kumara. Bangladesh, on the other hand, made as many as four changes for the milestone Test. Injured Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed and Mominul Haque made way for Sabbir Rahman, Imrul Kayes, Taijul Islam and Mosaddek Hossain, who is making his debut.

Brief scores

Sri Lanka 238 for 7 (Dinesh Chandimal 86*, Dhananjaya de Silva 34, Niroshan Dickwella 34; Mustafizur Rahman 2 for 32, Mehedi Hasan Miraz 2 for 58) vs Bangladesh at stumps on Day 1.