Sri Lanka tot up huge lead

Chittagong, January 5:

Sri Lanka are on the verge of batting Bangladesh out of contention in the second Test after closing the third day 472 runs ahead today. The tourists were 296-4 at stumps, with Thilan Samaraweera on 72 and Tillakaratne Dilshan on 81.

Both Sri Lanka openers fell at 55, but a theme of unhurried accumulation developed from that point. Kumar Sangakk-ara’s 54 kept hosts’ spin-orientated attack at bay.

Prasanna Jayawardene (28) contrived to chip Mohammad Ashraful to short mid-wicket, and three balls later Malinda Warnapura (27) was unfortunate to fall leg before, after the Shahadat Hossain ball had pitched outside leg stump. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene took 92 balls over his 22 before mistiming a drive off Mehrab Hossain.

Ashraful picked up his second wicket when Sangakkara dragged a delivery onto his stumps, but from 165-4, Sri Lanka pulled themselves together again.

Samaraweera played patiently, while Dilshan was easily the most fluent of Sri Lanka’s batsmen. He was dropped on 51 by Junaid Siddique, spilling a chance off Mashrafe Mortaza, but by then the damage had been done.