De Silva, Mendis achieve rare feat as Sri Lanka punish Bangladesh

Sri Lanka's Dhananjaya de Silva (L) celebrates with Kamindu Mendis after scoring a century (100 runs) during the third day of the first Test cricket match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet on March 24, 2024.AFP

Dhananjaya de Silva and Kamindu Mendis became the third pair in Test history to score a century in both innings, as Sri Lanka stretched their lead in the first Test against Bangladesh on Sunday.

The visitors reached 338-7 at tea on the third day at Sylhet, leading Bangladesh by 430 runs, with de Silva making 108 runs to go with his 102 in the first innings.

Kamindu Mendis, who also scored 102 runs in the first innings, reached the same milestone after de Silva to remain unbeaten on 100 at the interval.

The Chappell brothers, Greg and Ian, of Australia achieved the feat against New Zealand in March 1974, before Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali emulated it against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014.

The pair, who shared 202 runs in Sri Lanka's first innings total of 280 runs, put on 173 runs together this time -- on their way to becoming the third and fourth Sri Lankans to score centuries in both innings against Bangladesh.

Resuming on 119-5, the visitors lost nightwatchman Vishwa Fernando (four) early to Khaled Ahmed, before de Silva and Mendis took control.

De Silva brought his century into the game with a single off Mehidy Hasan Miraz, before he gave Bangladesh their first chance as Nahid Rana dropped him off Shoriful Islam on 101.

Mehidy ensured the drop did not hurt the team more, soon ending de Silva's innings, with Zakir Hasan taking the catch at short midwicket.

Mendis put away a full toss of Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto to bring his own hundred off 171 balls just before the tea, when Prabath Jayasuriya was batting with him for 13.

Sri Lanka have never lost a Test series to Bangladesh.

The second and final match of the series will be played in Chittagong from 30 March.