Akila Dananjaya turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief for a second day in succession with his efforts on Day 3 helping Sri Lanka seal a 215-run victory to clinch the two-match Test series 1-0. Dananjaya, who had picked up a three-wicket haul in the first innings to bowl out Bangladesh for 110, bagged five in the second essay to skittle the hosts out for 123 in a chase of 339 as Bangladesh lost their last six wickets for only 23 runs.
Dananjaya finished with match figures of 8 for 44, and in doing so, bettered Ajantha Mendis’s 8 for 132 against India to register the best match figures by a Sri Lankan on debut. Roshen Silva also played a key role, scoring half-centuries in both innings to set up a hefty target for Bangladesh, which proved to be too much for the hosts.
Silva, the overnight half-centurion, continued in a steady manner and received good support from Suranga Lakmal. There wasn’t enough pressure applied on the pair by the Bangladesh bowlers, who lacked consistency despite finding plenty of help from the wicket. This enabled Silva and Lakmal to add 26 more for the ninth wicket on the third morning before Taijul Islam bagged the wickets off Lakmal and Herath off successive deliveries to bring an end to Sri Lanka’s innings.
Bangladesh suffered an early jolt in the mammoth chase as Tamim Iqbal fell as early as the second over, leg-before to Dilruwan Perera with the review failing to come to his aid. The ball journeying around the slip cordon was a regular feature in Bangladesh’s innings with the bowlers finding the edge several times, without much luck. Kayes had decided that batting positively was the best approach for him but wasn’t efficient with the execution. He did manage a six off Herath but pushing at a delivery outside off proved to be his undoing as he fell before the lunch interval.
Mominul too had an edgy outing before falling to Herath after the break, playing away from the body proving counter-productive again. Liton Das too was reaching out to play the deliveries before he fell to Akila Dananjaya with extra bounce doing the trick for the debutant. Rahim, on the other hand, concentrated on getting to the pitch of the ball to negate the spin, and was successful in sweeping and going over the top against Herath.
Mahmudullah too tried the jumping-down-the-track tactic against Dananjaya and managed to find the fence once. However, another such attempt caused his downfall as the bowler shortened his length and had the home-team captain edging to slip, followed soon by Rahim as he too was drawn out of his crease to be out stumped off Herath. Dananjaya then had Sabbir Rahman caught at forward short-leg and Abdur Razzak out stumped to better his first-innings effort when he picked up a three-wicket haul.
Mehidy Hasan managed to clear the fence off Dananjaya and was also put down by Mendis at short-leg. But it didn’t take Dananjaya too long to find the outside edge of Mehidy’s bat to pick up his maiden Test fifer. Herath picked up the final wicket, dismissing Taijul Islam to pick up wicket No. 415 and go past Wasim Akram on the wicket-taker’s list, as Sri Lanka registered a comprehensive victory.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 222 (Kusal Mendis 68, Roshen Silva 56; Abdur Razzak 4-63) & 226 (Roshen Silva 70*, Dimuth Karunaratne 32; Dimuth Karunaratne 4-76) beat Bangladesh 110 (Mehidy Hasan 38*; Akila Dananjaya 3-20, Suranga Lakmal 3-25) & 123 (Mominul Haque 33; Akila Dananjaya 5-24, Rangana Herath 4-49) by 215 runs.