Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tamim 82 seals Bangladesh's landmark win in 100th Test




A win on foreign soil against a strong home side was Bangladesh's dream for a long time. Bangladesh achieved it in their 100th Test by beating Sri Lanka by four wickets - their first Test win against the hosts - in a performance that saw them dominate large periods of the game.

They had plenty of nervy moments though, especially after Shakib Al Hasan was dismissed with 29 still required in the 191-run chase. Soon after, umpire S Ravi adjudged Mushfiqur Rahim lbw, which was overturned on review. In the next over, Herath couldn't hold on to a return catch offered by a powerful Mosaddek Hossain drive.

Mosaddek went after Herath again, skewing a drive over cover for four. Two more fours brought the target down to six runs. Mosaddek was then caught behind with two runs to get. Mehedi Hasan hit the winning runs, sparking wild celebrations in the Bangladesh camp.

Bangladesh, coming into this game on the back of a timid performance in Galle, the messy axing of Mahmudullah and the late injury to Liton Das, found the focus they needed to level the series.

Set 191 to win in the fourth innings, a commonly tough terrain for Bangladesh, Tamim Iqbal was initially focused on conserving his wicket in the face of sharp attack from Herath and Dilruwan. His first boundary came off the 42nd delivery he faced. Along with Sabbir, they found several boundaries that carried Bangladesh from a vulnerable position to one they could dominate from.


Inside-out hits, crunching drives and reverse sweeps got Tamim and Sabbir going as they didn't allow the Sri Lankan bowlers to find their groove after lunch. Tamim reached his fifty off 87 balls, and then launched Herath through extra cover for four and a six over long-on that landed on the second floor.

But on 82, he skied Dilruwan Perera towards Dinesh Chandimal at mid-on, who ran back to complete a sharp catch at mid-on. He had struck seven fours and the six in his 125-ball knock. Sabbir fell on 41 after Sri Lanka had asked for the DRS, replays suggesting that Dilruwan's delivery from around the wicket would have hit his leg stump.

Herath had earlier dismissed Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes off consecutive deliveries in the ninth over. Soumya holed out to an unnecessary shot which was caught at long-off, before Imrul edged to slip next ball. The home side was on top at that point, having extended their overnight score of 268 for 8, to be bowled for 319 after the first hour. Dilruwan and Suranga Lakmal added 80 runs for the ninth wicket. Both fell within five balls of each other; Lakmal made 42 off 48 balls while Dilruwan's vigil of 174 balls produced 50 runs.

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