Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, 1st Test
A boring end to what's been a lacklustre game of Test cricket over the past five days. The second and final Test is on Thursday at the same venue, and the big question remains: How will the pitch behave? Both teams will eye a series win and shall take some confidence from the batting marathon of this game. 'Bat first and bat big' could be the template once again as we draw curtains on this game. Do remember to join us for that. Please take great care of yourself, stay safe and stay home. Until next time, cheers and goodbye from all of us down here!!
Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lankan skipper & also the Player of the Match: I had a very tough match time in the West Indies, so wanted to make the most of these conditions. We thought the wicket will have pace and bounce, but the conditions and heat made the pitch flat. Bangladesh batters also played really well. There was nothing much for the bowlers, it was a batting paradise. There was no threat for the batsmen in the second innings as well, nothing much we could have done on this kind of a wicket. We need something in the pitch for the bowlers (in the next game), because we need 20 wickets to win.
Mominul Haque, Bangladesh skipper: It was a team performance, everyone contributed really well, especially Shanto. Tamim and Mushy also played crucial knocks and the bowlers, especially Taskin and the spinners, tried really hard. When you start the first Test on a good note, it will definitely give us some confidence going into the next game. When you represent the country, you have to adjust to the situations and with bio-bubble and restrictions in place, you gotta adjust accordingly and keep your mental state healthy.
What exactly happened in this Test? Just before the start of the game, the live pictures showed a surface full of grass which many thought will assist the pacers early on before breaking under the sun. None of that, however, happened as the grass (too much of it) only aided in holding the surface together for the past five days. There were weather interruptions on day 2 and 4, but there was no interruption to the run-flow as batters got stuck in to diffuse the life out of the bowlers. In fairness, one could hardly recollect a wicket-deserving delivery. Not that the bowling was poor, but sheer lack of pitch assistance made life that much more harder for the bowlers. While Bangladesh pacers were too erratic, the Sri Lankan spinners struggled to find consistency in their first innings. At the end of it all, Karunaratne and Shanto recorded their highest scores in Test cricket while Mominul and Dhananjaya played perfect second fiddle in engineering vital partnerships. Lahiru Kumara bowled some fiery spells, but the right-arm pacer didn't take the field since the start of day 3 due to injury.
16:17 Local Time, 10:47 GMT, 16:17 IST: Alas, what a drab! The match ends in a draw. The pitch here shall definitely come under scrutiny for being far too kind for the batsmen and unfortunately, the bowlers were made to look like mere bowling machines. Both teams had their moments of glory and despair, but none of it came close to producing any excitement or the result. As many as 4 batsmen notched up tons and made merry of the conditions on offer. If anything, the color of the pitch has been the only constant change throughout. The surface was expected to spin from day three, but it held up nicely and the rough patches (generally created by pacers' footmarks) were hard to spot on either end of the wicket. Overall, it's been a run-fest and although Sri Lanka tried to force some panic with a couple of early wickets post the declaration, the experienced pair of Tamim and Mominul ensured there were no further hiccups before the rains arrived.
16:02 Local Time, 10:32 GMT, 16:02 IST: The rain has gotten a bit lighter, but with no outcome possible and with the light fading, the officials might call it off soon.
15:44 Local Time, 10:14 GMT, 15:44 IST: And it continues to rain in Pallekele, just a matter of time..
15:14 Local Time, 09:44 GMT, 15:14 IST: The rain has arrived and the entire ground is under covers. Well this could be the end of the match. For the moment, play is suspended due to rain.. If it continues to rain, that'll be the end of it. Stay tuned in for the updates..
14:58 local: Sri Lanka decided to declare just before the start of the second session and created some excitement with a couple of early wickets with the ball. The experienced pair of Tamim and Mominul, however, steadied things since and nearly erased the deficit with positive approach at the crease. With the result highly unlikely, the only thing left from a cricketing point of view is Tamim's hundred which could also bring the conclusion to this game. Back in 20...
BAN: 100-2 after 33 overs
32.6 Lakmal to Tamim, no run, good length just outside off, pushed to mid-off and that will be tea
32.5 Lakmal to Tamim, no run, very full and wide of off, Tamim leans across and shoulders arms
32.4 Lakmal to Tamim, no run, full outside off, Tamim leans across and drives off the inside half to mid-on
32.3 Lakmal to Mominul, 1 run, angled in from wide of the crease at 129ks , Mominul shuffles across and clips it off his pads to deep backward square
32.2 Lakmal to Mominul, no run, full and well wide of off, left alone to the keeper
32.1 Lakmal to Tamim, 1 run, dug in short outside off, Tamim drops it with soft hands into the off-side and nabs a quick single
BAN: 98-2 after 32 overs
31.6 Hasaranga to Mominul, no run, flicks this with the spin, but can't get it past the fielder at square leg
31.5 Hasaranga to Mominul, no run, tries to block off the back foot and gets a thick inside edge onto pad
31.4 Hasaranga to Mominul, no run, hangs back and offers a dead bat
31.3 Hasaranga to Tamim, 1 run, to cover point
31.2 Hasaranga to Tamim, no run, short and spinning in just outside off, Tamim opens the bat face and punches it back to the bowler