Mathews ton as Sri Lanka take honours on Day One


A crafty century from veteran Angelo Mathews saw Sri Lanka grab the honours on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram. Mathews hit a timely century and was involved in vital stands with Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal as Sri Lanka put up 258 on the board for the loss of four wickets at stumps.

Sri Lanka didn’t make the greatest of starts despite winning the toss on a good surface. Dimuth Karunaratne misjudged an arm ball and was dismissed leg-before-wicket, while Oshada Fernando, despite making a good start in his comeback game, edged one behind and also proceeded to take a review with him. On both occasions, it was Nayeem Hasan who did the damage for Bangladesh.

But the tables turned post the lunch break as Sri Lanka took control of the game. Mathews and Mendis took a positive approach and put pressure on the Bangladesh bowlers. Mathews fetched a six at the start and Mendis was in his groove as well finding the boundary regularly.

Post the drinks break, the run flow was controlled, but Mendis went on to complete his half-century. Bangladesh were given a ray of hope when Mathews was adjudged caught behind off Taijul, but the batter reviewed it immediately and the decision was overturned as replays confirmed no spike on ultra edge. A subdued Sri Lanka added only 24 runs in the second half of the session in 17 overs, but Mathews also completed his landmark as both batters looked in total control.

Taijul Islam struck first ball after tea much to Bangladesh’s delight. Mendis couldn’t put away a short ball and hit it tamely to the midwicket fielder to gift his wicket. Mathews was lucky to get boundaries when the ball found the edge of his bat on a couple of occasions. At the other end, Shakib Al Hasan returned to the attack and struck immediately as Dhananjaya de Silva inside edged one that deflected off his pad to be caught at gully.

Sri Lanka had to rebuild again after the setback and Mathews found the ideal partner in Chandimal to steer Sri Lanka safely through to stumps without further damage. Despite being sedate for most of the time in his approach, Chandimal didn’t miss out on boundary opportunities as he fetched a six each off Shakib and Taijul. Mathews on the other hand continued to motor along and flicked the first ball for a boundary after Bangladesh took the second new cherry to bring up his century.

On a surface that is expected to aid the spinners after day 3, Sri Lanka would hope for more of the same from the experienced duo on day 2.

Sri Lanka 1st innings

O.Fernando c L.Das b N.Hasan          36

D. Karunaratne lbw N.Hasan               09

K.Mendis c N.Hasan b T.Islam           54

A.Mathews Not Out                              114 Silva c M.Hasan Joy b S. Hasan                06

D. Chandimal Not Out                         34

Extras: (4b 0lb 1nb 0pen 0w)             05

Total: (90.0 overs)                                            258-4

Fall of Wickets: 1-23 Karunaratne, 2-66 Fernando, 3-158 Mendis, 4-183 de Silva

Bowling: Nayeem Hasan 16-2-71-2, Taijul Islam 31-8-73-1, Shakib Al Hasan 19-7-27-1