Thirimanne and Chandimal tons tame Tigers
Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal’s maiden Test hundreds, both unbeaten, consolidated Sri Lanka’s dominance of the first Test with Bangladesh.
The fifth-wicket duo piled up a stand of 203 before new captain Angelo Mathews declared on a mammoth 570 for four midway through the second afternoon at Galle. Thirimanne had 155 and Chandimal 116, although the latter was dropped four times - the first three spills before he reached 13.
The Tigers responded solidly on a docile pitch with the recalled Mohammad Ashraful and debutant Monimul Haque sharing an unbroken 70 to close on 135 for two.
Kumar Sangakkara’s 142 yesterday gave the hosts a strong platform and they resumed this morning on 361 for three with Thirimanne on 74 and Mathews 24.
Mathews added just two to his overnight score before lead-edging a return catch to seamer Abul Hasan, who became Bangladesh’s second wicket-taker after spinner Sohag Gazi had claimed all three yesterday.
Chandimal, having edged his opening ball over the slips for four, was first shelled at gully off Abul, then at fine-leg off Shahadat Hossain and thirdly at midwicket off Gazi. He rubbed salt in the wound with two fours later in Gazi’s over.
Thirimanne was in the nervous nineties for nine overs, but reached three figures by chipping Elias Sunny for two over mid-on. Having been reprieved for the third time from his 46th ball, Chandimal sped to a fifty before lunch in 45 more.
Chandimal showed his confidence early in the afternoon session by launching Mahmudullah for a straight six and, after a clutch of fours shared between the two batsmen, swiped Gazi over midwicket for another maximum as he raced through the nineties.
Three to fine-leg off Monimul in the next over completed a 136-delivery ton, soon after which Chandimal survived a regulation chance for a catch at long-on off Gazi. It was not long until the declaration came.
Jahurul Islam began the reply positively with a four in each of the first four overs, but gloved a catch behind off Shaminda Eranga to depart for 20 shortly before tea.
Ashraful, playing his first Test since December 2011, started smoothly alongside watchful format debutant Anamul Haque, who was bowled between bat and pad for 13 trying to drive an Ajantha Mendis off-break.
Ashraful responded by taking Mendis for two consecutive fours in his next over and soon brought up a 67-ball half-century with another four off the spinner.
Boundaries briefly flowed for Ashraful and Monimul, the latter - after a period of calm - picking up another in both the last two overs of the day to end on 35 - 30 behind his partner.