What’s the story?
Sri Lankan opening batsman, Dimuth Karunaratne, feels that a loss in the on-going Test match against Bangladesh will be an embarrassment for the team. Sri Lanka ended the fourth day on 268 for 8 with a lead of 139 runs.
“We have never lost a Test match to Bangladesh in our history. It will be a big embarrassment if we lose here. We have only got ourselves to blame if we lose. We need to own up to the mistake. We have actually won our last six Test matches at home and losing here will be unacceptable,” said Karunaratne.
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Before lunch, Sri Lanka were 137 for 1 but the Bangladeshi pacer, Mustafizur Rahman turned the game in favour of his team. The left-handed speedster bowled seven overs between lunch and drinks and picked up three wickets. Also, spinner Shakib Al Hasan kept the pressure from the other end and picked up two wickets to ensure Sri Lanka stumbled to 199 for six.
Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal stood firm for the team, though, and scored 26 and 16 respectively.
The heart of the matter
Sri Lanka lead Bangladesh by 139 runs but have just two wickets in hand. With Karunaratne’s ton being the highlight, Sri Lanka crawled to a lead, however, if the Tigers can skittle the lower order in quick time, they will be in with a great chance of victory.
Karunaratne, meanwhile, believes that a lead close to 200 will give Sri Lanka a fighting chance. However, Mustafizur’s ability to reverse swing the ball will be difficult to handle for the two batsmen on the fifth and final day.
Meanwhile, the two Bangladeshi openers, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar, have been consistent for the team. Hence, according to Karunaratne, the plan is to put pressure on the two openers and dismiss them as early as possible.
On the fifth day of the second Test match, Sri Lanka will walk to the crease at 268 for 8 and hope to secure a lead of at least 200. Bangladesh, on the other hand, will hope that their star man Mustafizur can send the lower order packing.
It will be a shame if Karunaratne’s efforts – he scored 126 in the second innings – go in vain, however, it will be a boon to Test cricket if the Tigers can indeed pick up their first ever win against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh have overcome numerous hurdles in the recent past and it is nice to see them put up such a strong fight against a top Test team.