Taijul rocks Sri Lanka as Bangladesh press for victory

Bangladesh's cricketers celebrate the dismissal of Sri Lanka's captain Dimuth Karunaratne during the final day of the first Test cricket match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on 19 May 2022AFP

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam has rocked Sri Lanka batting to give Bangladesh an outside chance to win the first match of the two-match Test series, reports BSS.

He claimed 3-38 as Sri Lanka were reduced to 128-4, leading Bangladesh by 60 runs at lunch on day five of the first Test match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Thursday.

Amid Taijul’s carnage, captain Dimuth Karunaratne held the one end and was batting on 44 with Dhananjaya de Silva on 12 at the first interval of the day.

Bangladesh earlier gained a 68-run first innings lead, compiling 465 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 397 all out.

Resuming the day on 39-2, Sri Lanka made an attacking start with Kusal Mendis unfurling a powerful game right from the start.

He even didn’t spare Bangladesh’s best bowler Taijul Islam, striking him boundaries twice in the first over of the day as Sri Lanka looked to press for a victory.

Karunaratne, however, was restrained but never hesitated to punch the loose deliveries.

Bangladesh in fact was one bowling option short with pacer Shoriful Islam being ruled out, even from the second test against Sri Lanka, starting May 23 in Dhaka.

A scan revealed a fracture on the hand of Shoriful, who had to retire hurt during Bangladesh’s first innings.

Mendis continued to attack and was particularly harsh on pacer Syed Khaled and off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, whom he treated in disdain.

Shakib Al Hasan though was successful to tame him with his intelligent bowling.

Taijul finally dismissed Mendis, spinning one past him to clip the off stump after the batsman hit eight fours and one six for his 48 off 43.

Taijul also tormented Angelo Mathews who scored 199 in Sri Lanka’s first innings but got a 15 ball-duck this time.

After failing to get off the mark, a visibly frustrated Mathews tried to charge Taijul but ended up giving a return catch.

Those two wickets in quick succession forced Sri Lanka to go back foot and Bangladesh raised a hope to win the Test.

However, Karunarate and Dhananjaya de Silva saw off the session without further damage.