Shakib Al Hasan struck his fifth Test century and Mosaddek Hossain added a fifty on debut as Bangladesh opened up a first innings lead over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Colombo on Friday.
Karunaratne held down one end to score 126 before a dogged unbeaten innings by Dilruwan Perera helped Sri Lanka reach 268-8 at stumps on the fourth day to stretch their lead over the visitors to 139 runs. No one thought that we would get wickets that frequently.
Bangladesh resumed the third day at 214-5, having to rebuild the innings after a midway stutter.
They had lost three wickets for six runs close to stumps on day two after a good start, leaving Shakib and the lower middle order to rebuild the innings.
However, Sri Lankan captain Rangana Herath (4-82) dismissed Mehedi and Mustafizur Rahman (0) off successive deliveries in the 129th over which also brought his 1000th first-class wicket and few overs later he had Mosaddek stumped to dismiss Bangladesh for 467 runs.
But Shakib and Rahim did well to rotate the strike and scored boundaries off loose balls to quickly free themselves from pressure. That may be a tempting way to see the situation that now prevails in Colombo before Bangladesh's attempt to take the two Sri Lankan wickets as early as possible today and minimise the hosts' lead which now stands at 139 in order to walk away with a share of the spoils in the two-match series, but if they manage to pull it off today, the enormity of the achievement may even exceed the significance of the 100th Test. Suranga Lakmal is giving him support, he is not out on 16. The ace all-rounder was dismissed by Sandakan just before tea.More news: National Football League player accepts prom invitation from Wisconsin girl
The left-handed opener carved up 10 boundaries and a six before falling to Shakib for a catch in the slips in the final session.
Sandakan said that the pitch at the P Sara Oval in Colombo has become slower as the match has progressed and the spinners did not get the expected assistance when the ball became softer. "I had the chance to rethink about my batting overnight", Shakib said about his changed approach on the third day. We'll have to bat really well tomorrow.
"The biggest advantage for us is that those who are batting now are not genuine batsmen".
Saumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal gave Bangladesh a good start with a 95-run opening stand on Thursday.
From the debacle of the 259-run loss in the first Test, which in turn led to selection confusion, which then led to interference from every quarter that resulted in a profoundly divided touring party before this current Test, Bangladesh are on the cusp of eyeing a Test win against a team they have never beaten before and on a ground which has produced only innings-defeats for them in the past.