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Duo notch maiden tons as Bangladesh battle

Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes struck their first Test centuries as Bangladesh continued to fight back on day three against Sri Lanka in Chittagong.

Shamsur contributed 106 to a superb second-wicket partnership of 232 with Kayes, who went on to make 115 as the hosts avoided the follow-on and closed on 409 for eight.

Two wickets from successive Ajantha Mendis deliveries late on mean Bangladesh still have much to do, with Sri Lanka holding a 178-run lead.

It appeared the damage might be far more severe when Tamim Iqbal departed without scoring yesterday as Bangladesh began the reply to their opponents' mammoth first-innings total of 587.

However, Shamsur and Kayes prevented any further setbacks before the close on day two - finishing on 45 and 36 not out respectively - and this morning they picked up where they left off.

Shamsur was the first to reach three figures in only his second Test when he crunched Angelo Mathews for four, but Kayes should have been denied his milestone as, two balls later, he was dropped by Kithuruwan Vithanage at point.

Incredibly, Kayes, who was on 95 at the time, was then caught by Vithanage off a no-ball later in the same over and the 27-year-old made the most of such generous fortune by raising his bat shortly afterwards.

Both centurions were bowled by Mendis before they could add the substantial score Bangladesh required; likewise Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain will have been disappointed to fall when well set on 50 and 42 respectively.

Dilruwan Perera claimed the vital scalp of Shakib on his way to 3-119 and much of Bangladesh’s hopes of reducing the deficit further lie with Mahmudullah, who will start the fourth morning unbeaten on 30.