Bangladesh were in a commanding position by stumps on day one against Sri Lanka, thanks to a host of good batting performances, led by a maiden Test ton from Najmul Hossain Shanto.
There were half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal (90) and Mominul Haque (64*) as well, as Bangladesh capitalised on winning the toss, despite getting off to a shaky start early on.
Vishwa Fernando had Saif Hassan trapped in front for naught in the second over of the match to send the jitters through Bangladesh, but Tamim and Shanto combined for a 144-run stand for the second wicket that deflated Sri Lanka.
Tamim opted for an aggressive approach while Shanto played himself in cautiously, making for diverse problems for the Sri Lankan attack. Tamim raced to his half-century in just 53 deliveries.
Stumps in Pallekele 🏏— ICC (@ICC) April 21, 2021
An unbroken 150-run third-wicket stand between Najmul Hossain and Mominul Haque has taken Bangladesh to 302/2 at the end of day one.#SLvBAN | #WTC21 | https://t.co/o4z3X5YwQd pic.twitter.com/D9Z5oxSdtm
Their partnership helped Bangladesh head to lunch at a healthy 106/1, and they carried on after the resumption. Shanto registered his second half-century in Tests with a fine cut to the fence.
The pair added 48 more runs after the lunch break, but Sri Lanka got the breakthrough just when it seemed Tamim would coast to a century – he was caught at slips ten runs short, edging Fernando to the cordon. It was a much-needed breakthrough for the hosts, but they couldn't capitalise.
Mominul Haque was able to sustain Bangladesh's momentum, and the duo took the tourists through to tea with 200 runs on the board.
Maiden Test ton for Najmul Hossain Shanto, 14th Test fifty for Mominul Haque 🌟— ICC (@ICC) April 21, 2021
The third-wicket stand between the two has crossed 100!#SLvBAN | #WTC21 | https://t.co/o4z3X6g7HL pic.twitter.com/hi4vpb1DT6
Sri Lanka had no luck in the final session as Mominul and Shanto plundered the runs. Shanto brought up his maiden century in style, with a superb drive through covers, while Mominul notched up a fine half-century, and Sri Lanka were frustrated by the time stumps were drawn.
The hosts will hope to get back into contention in the Test with a few early wickets on the second morning.
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