Liton, Mushfiqur script Bangladesh’s memorable comeback
Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim stunned Sri Lanka, putting on a record partnership after a sensational collapse that saw Bangladesh slump to 24-5 in the first half-an-hour of the opening day of the second and final cricket Test at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today (Monday, May 23).
They kept them unscathed throughout the day after that horrible 30 minutes to lift Bangladesh to 277-5 at stumps. Liton Das was batting on 135 with Mushfiqur Rahim on 115, sharing a record 253-run in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.
They made a highest partnership for sixth wicket or lower after losing the first five wickets for 25 runs or less, breaking the record of Wallis Mathias and Shujauddin, who added 86 after their team West Indies lost first wicket for 22 runs against Pakistan in Dhaka in 1959.
They also put on highest partnership for Bangladesh in sixth wicket, eclipsing 191 by Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim against Sri Lanka in Colombo 2007.
After that manic 30 minutes, Sri Lanka could create only one chance throughout the day when Liton pulled Asitha Fernando lazily at backward square leg, which Kusal Mendis’s substitute Kamindu Mendia failed to hold on.
Kusal Mendis left the ground earlier because of the chest pains.
Liton then got his pull right to hit Fernado a boundary through the same region to raise his fifty off 96 balls. He then needed just 53 balls to complete his next fifty to reach his third century off 149 balls.
Mushfiqur who became the first Bangladeshi batter to reach 5000 runs last week, was more restrained.
He brought up his fifty off 112 balls, also through a boundary from left-arm spinner Praveen Jaywawickrama’s delivery.
Unlike Liton, his innings was completely chanceless and raised his ninth century off 218 balls with single from a delivery of Ramesh Mendis.
Sri Lanka fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernanon exploited the early moisture astutely after Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque won the toss and elected to bat first.
In a joint-venture, they removed both the Bangladesh openers Mahmudul Hasan and Tamim Iqbal for duck in first two overs with the former breaking through in the second ball of the day, rattling the stump of Mahmudul.
Tamim got the leading edge, trying to clip a Fernando delivery to leg-side after playing just four balls.
Captain Mominul extended his lean streak to sixth straight single digit figure before being out on 9 when he edged a Fernando delivery behind the wickets.
Rajitha rattled the stump of Najmul Hossain (8) with an express delivery and then got prized wicket of Shakib Al Hasan for duck, hitting his pad with a moving delivery. Shakib reviewed in vain as Bangladesh slumped to 24-5
But Liton and Mushfiqur Rahim then not only saved Bangladesh from ultimate blushes but also kept them on track of establishing a full dominance over the Lankan.
Rajitha ended the day with 3-43 while Fernando claimed 2-80 to finish the day one.