Najmul Shanto hit his first century and Tamim Iqbal 90 as Bangladesh seized a rare chance to loot an opponent on day one of their first test in Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Bangladesh, chasing their first away test victory in four years, went 302 for two on an easy wicket to score at Pallekele. After Saif Hassan fell in love with a duck against Vishwa Fernando in the second, Shanto and Tamim added 144 for the second wicket to establish Bangladesh’s dominance over the bowlers. Shanto and captain Mominul Haque then scored 150 unbeaten points for the third wicket
First ton test for Najmul Hossain Shanto, 14th test fifty for Mominul Haque
– ICC (@ICC) April 21, 2021
22-year-old southpaw Shanto was dropped by wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella on the 28th but went on to hit triple digits in his seventh test. He was on 126 at the end of the day with 14 fours and a six.
Shanto said he was “relieved” to have his first ton and was happy to wait for Sri Lanka’s “loose bullets”.
“I had worked very hard but unfortunately I did not get any big points. But I believed in my ability and I am glad that everything clicked today. It was difficult months after a disappointing series against the West Indies”, Shanto said.
The experienced Tamim accelerated the race by scoring when he entered and narrowly missed a deserved century. His 29th half-century had only 54 balls with ten limits.
After hitting 90 of 101 balls with 15 fours, Tamim delivered a half-hearted shot and was caught by lone outfielder Lahiru Thirimanne at Fernando’s bowling alley.
Mominul, undefeated on 64 at the close, was also abandoned by Dickwella, but the wicket would not have counted as Silva’s Dhananjaya had passed the bowling line.
Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower expressed hope for a quick breakthrough on day two. “It’s been a tough day, but if we take two wickets early tomorrow things can change pretty quickly,” he said.
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