Sri Lanka take control

Colombo, September 21:

Pace bowler Dilhara Fernando recorded his best performance in a Test match on Wednesday, taking seven wickets in a single day as Sri Lanka took firm control of the second cricket Test against Bangladesh at the close of the second day’s play. At stumps, Bangladesh — forced to follow-on — were three down for 131 in their second innings, still trailing Sri Lanka by 135 runs after the hosts made a formidable 457 runs for nine wickets declared.

Fernando snared five wickets for 60 runs to dismiss Bangladesh for 186 in its first innings, and took two second-innings wickets to bag seven wickets for 85 runs in the match so far, surpassing his previous best of six wickets for 77 runs. Bangladesh went to tea at 186 for nine wickets with the last pair, Khaled Mashud and Enamul Haq, at the crease. However, they could add only five runs after tea as Mashud was deceived by a Muttiah Muralitharan doosra and stumped by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara for 22 runs. Bangladesh resumed the second innings 271 runs behind Sri Lanka and soon found themselves in trouble, losing three wickets for 56 runs.

Left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas produced tle breakthrough for the hosts when he had opener Javed Omar caught by Marvan Atapattu for nine runs, with the total reading 22. Skipper Habibul Bashar departed soon for 10 runs, mistiming a drive against Fernando and caught at point by Muralitharan. Nafees Iqbal, promoted to open the batting in the innings, scored 30 runs in 35 balls before being caught by Sangakkara off Fernando. Iqbal hit four boundaries.

Later, Mohammad Ashraful and Shahriar Nafees combined for a fighting 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Nafees, playing his second Test match, made his maiden half-century and departed for 51 with just a couple of overs remaining for the day, snapped up by Thilan Samaraweera at slip off Muralitharan. On Tuesday, Tillakaratne Dilshan (168) and Samaraweera (138) scored centuries to salvage the Sri Lanka innings after the hosts had slumped to 48 for four wickets.