Sri Lankan spinners, Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera took three wickets apiece to bowl out Bangladesh for 312, earning the hosts a lead of 182. That would have soared much more if not for a 106-run partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Hasan.
The duo helped the visitors recover from four quick wickets on day 3, including that of Soumya Sarkar, their set batsman, and Shakib-al-Hasan, their most experienced. Mehedi Hasan showed great resolve and fight in a knock of 41 that was shadowed by a superlative innings by Rahim.
Once the partnership was broken, Sri Lanka cleaned up the rest in no time but unfortunately did not get to extend their lead as rain played spoilsport at Galle. With two days to go in the game, the match is still open unless rain interrupts yet again.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 494. Bangladesh 312 (Rahim 85, Sarkar 71, Perera 3/53)
Take a glance at the talking points from day 3 of the first Test at Galle between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
#5 Shakib-al-Hasan pays for aggression without intent
The all-rounder had smashed the highest score by a Bangladeshi player in the Test series against New Zealand. But with Shakib, there is always his natural style of batting creeping into his game, which wouldn't have been a bad thing if he knew to control his aggression at the crease.
With Bangladesh having lost their set batsman in Soumya Sarkar, they needed Shakib to put his head down and produce a fighting knock. Instead he played drives away from his body and went after short balls, luckily the resultant top edge went for a six.
But he soon gave away a run a ball start by guiding a Sandakan wrong 'un to Dickwella's hands down the leg side. While some might term the dismissal unlucky, Shakib was plainly not watching the ball and resorted to show aggression instead.
#4 Mushfiqur Rahim sizzles at Galle again
The Bangladesh wicket-keeper batsman had knocked off a double hundred the last time the two teams faced off in Galle. That time, on a flat pitch, Bangladesh knocked off 600+ courtesy his double ton.
The morning session in this Galle Test on Day 3 had not gone well for Bangladesh having lost four quick wickets that reduced them to 192/6. Rahim found some support from Mehedi Hasan, quickly proving to be more than a useful hand with the bat, and compiled a fine half-century.
He was calm and composed and knocked off the spinners easily while charging them when anything loose came by. A towering six off Herath over his head stood out in yet another brilliant knock by Rahim. He helped Bangladesh avoid the follow-on before being the 9th man dismissed, bowled by Herath for 85.
#3 Dilruwan Perera playing his role to perfection
Be it the gutsy half-century in the first innings or his arm ball to Mominul Haque, Dilruwan Perera has stood out in this game for Sri Lanka. The wily off-spinner is a senior figure in the Test side and is proving to be an all-rounder at No. 7 with the bat.
Mehedi Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim were giving Lanka a tough time with their gritty partnership when Perera struck yet again. He had the resilient Mehedi plumb in front off a quicker ball that beat his bat and struck him flush on the pads.
Perera wasn't done though, and a slider next ball trapped the new batsman, Taskin Ahmed, in front, for a golden duck. He finished the innings with just three wickets but the timing of his wickets were worth its weight in gold.
#2 Rahim-Mehedi frustrate Lanka
Sri Lanka were eyeing a 200+ lead and an opportunity to put Bangladesh in to bat again when the visitors lost four wickets in the morning session. Bangladesh were 192/6 at one stage with their set batsman from Day 1, Soumya Sarkar dismissed early on Day 2.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Hasan went about their repair job as Lanka tried to bounce them out initially before resorting to their three spinners. However, Rahim was solid while Mehedi gave him ample support.
The partnership frustrated the Lankan players, especially with a forecasted rain threatening to spoil a portion of the day's play. Finally, Dilruwan Perera ended the 106-run partnership by dismissing Mehedi Hasan for 41.
#1 Rain and bad light spoil Lanka's day
Sri Lanka had played their best to put the visitors on the back foot with four early wickets. When Rahim and Mehedi threatened to take the game away in an engaging partnership, Lanka broke through with the wicket of Mehedi Hasan.
Even as Herath and Perera ran through the lower order, rain started lashing the stadium. After a 45 minute delay, play resumed and Herath took just two balls to get rid of the number 11. With an 182-run lead, Lanka were looking to pile on some runs before close of play.
However, just as their innings was about to start, light was too low at the stadium to proceed. The light meter showed 3.0 and a light drizzle compounded the problems. Lanka will hope that rain stays away in the next two days.