Centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne (118) and Lahiru Thirimanne (131*) steered Sri Lanka towards a potentially mammoth first-innings total on day one of the final test in Pallekele.
After Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, their openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne put them in charge straightaway.
Bangladesh bowlers threatened in the first 10 overs, when they found some purchase from the new ball, but as conditions increasingly favored batters thereafter, the visitors struggled. Karunaratne and Thirimanne's partnership was intact in the morning, the duo putting on 66 runs in the first session.
🔸 A 209-run opening stand— ICC (@ICC) April 29, 2021
🔸 Centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne
A dominating day one for Sri Lanka in the second Test!#SLvBAN | #WTC21 | https://t.co/gHzrfGN3qQ pic.twitter.com/5Kap1e0cKv
It didn't help that the Bangladesh fielders had an off-day, failing to maximise a few opportunities. Karunaratne was given an extra life when Najmul Hossain Shanto dropped him at second slip when he was on 28. It would prove a costly miss.
Karunaratne’s purple patch continued. The skipper smashed a sensational ton – 118 runs off 190 balls – and brought up his 12th century in Test cricket. During the course of the knock, he also became only the 10th Sri Lanka batsman to breach the 5000-run mark in Tests.
Thirimanne was the more assiduous batsman of the two, but together, they formed a deadly combination, and Bangladesh's struggles extended well into the day. The breakthrough came via the debutant, Shoriful Islam, as he snared the dangerous Karunaratne.
Shoriful targeted the outside-off channel with his left-arm pace, and after sticking to that line with patience, the edge was induced. The opening stand was worth 209, laying the perfect foundation for Sri Lanka to post a tall total.
Thirimanne continued unperturbed, despite losing his opening partner, and Oshada Fernando proved adequate support at the other end. By the time the stumps were drawn, the duo had added 82 runs, 40 of those runs coming from Fernando.
Thirimanne scored a resilient 131* (253), adding to Bangladesh's woes, but there was a scare late in the day when he was adjudged out leg-before wicket – the decision was overturned on review, and Bangladesh have it all to do on the second day.
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