Roshen Silva’s fifty puts SL in firm control

Sri Lanka 200 for 8 (Silva 58*, Karunaratne 32, Mustafizur 3-35) and 222 lead Bangladesh 110 (Mehidy 38*, Dananjaya 3-20, Lakmal 3-25) by 312 runs

(Cricinfo) Debutant Akila Dananjaya ransacked Bangladesh’s lower middle order in the morning, and Roshen Silva compiled a second high-quality fifty in the match, as Sri Lanka claimed a 312-run lead and took iron-grip of the Test.

That the surface is a spinners’ paradise is plain, but Bangladesh’s meekness in the first innings has put them on the brink of a series loss.

In the most dramatic period of play on day two, the hosts lost their last five wickets for five runs.

Not even an inspired Mustafizur Rahman spell late in the day could undo the damage sustained before lunch.

Also driving Sri Lanka ahead on day two were Dhananjaya de Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal, none of whom got close to a half-century, but whose innings were vital nonetheless.

Bangladesh’s spinners were at times guilty of being too wayward. Though they delivered their share of dangerous deliveries through the day, many errors in length also speckled their spells.

The visiting batsmen rarely allowed good scoring opportunities to go unused.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz – the best of the home side’s spinners – took two for 29 from his 14 overs, and regularly raised wicket-taking opportunities. Taijul Islam also took two wickets, and Abdur Razzak finished with one.

Their most potent weapon, however, was Mustafizur and his cutters. In a spell also envenomed by reverse swing, he took the wickets of Dilruwan Perera and Dananjaya off successive balls, and was unlucky to finish without at least one more scalp.

Having earlier also trapped Danushka Gunathilaka in front of the stumps, he finished the day with 3 for 35.

But it was Dananjaya whose late-morning spell that was of most consequence to the match situation.

To him also went the most perfect spin-bowling dismissal of the game so far.

Tossing the ball up outside off stump, Dananjaya got the ball to drift away, before it dipped and spat back at the batsman.

Mahmudullah offered a forward defence, but so sharp was the turn,that the ball whistled between bat and pad to hit the very top of middle stump.

It was his maiden Test wicket. Dananjaya was suitably ecstatic.

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