Openers Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal posted a solid opening wicket partnership for Bangladesh after captain Mahmudullah won the toss and elected to bat against Sri Lanka in the Chittagong Test match Wednesday. Bangladesh added 72 runs in quick succession before losing Tamim (52 off 53 balls) in the 16th over. Later, Imrul was involved in another good stand with No 3 batsman Mominul Haque, forming a 48-run partnership. But just before lunch, the Tigers lost Imrul’s wicket as he was adjudged leg before wicket. TV replays showed it would have gone over the leg-stump. And so, yet another impressive innings from Imrul (40 off 75 balls) ended in unlucky fashion.
Mominul’s ecstatic celebration after scoring 100
Mominul played a splendid unbeaten innings of 175 on day one with 16 boundaries and one over boundary. More importantly, the left-hander dominated the opposition throughout his entire innings, remaining flawless against each and every Sri Lankan bowler. The innings was important for Mominul as his position in the Test team in 2017 was a bit shaky, in contrast to the first few years of his career. Former head coach Chandika Hathurusingha dropped him from the Test squad prior to the series against South Africa. He was later included in the team after much drama. Mominul’s ecstatic celebration after reaching his landmark hinted just how much pressure he was under. Generally calm and composed, a relieved Mominul punched the air and jumped with joy after reaching the three-figure mark. Well played indeed, Mominul.
Liton’s horrible dismissal
Bangladesh were cruising along nicely during the closing stages of day one as both wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul were batting confidently. Mominul and Mushfiq formed a huge 236-run partnership for the third wicket. Mushfiq got out in the fifth ball of the 84th over against a good delivery from seamer Suranga Lakmal. As only six overs were remaining, many thought a nightwatchman may come in to bat for Bangladesh. But it was stumper-batsman Liton Kumar Das who came to bat at No 5. And in his first delivery, he left the incoming ball from Lakmal which uprooted the off-stump. Liton was shocked and so was the crowd. It appeared Liton premeditated to leave the ball and it was a terrible way to get out. Bangladesh did not lose any further wicket in the remaining overs. But two wickets off as many deliveries gave Sri Lanka slight hope after a dominant batting performance by Bangladesh on day one.