Bangladesh failed to capitalize on the solid start on the stop-start rain affected first day of the third and final Test and were struggling at 72-4 at close an Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy today.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful could not pick the right side of the coin and his counterpart Mahela Jayawardene made no hesitation to send Bangladesh in under gloomy
Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar in a bid to rediscover his form promoted him up the order, and formed a useful 38 run partnership with Shahriar Nafees to steady the Bangladesh innings. Bangladesh went to an early rain forced lunch without losing any further wicket.
After a rain break of 117 minutes, play finally resumed but this time Bashar was undone by the very first delivery he faced from Farveez Maharoof after the break. The ball jagged back sharply from the good length and may have kissed Bashar's glove faintly on the way to the wicketkeeper. The replay was inconclusive and Bashar might consider him unlucky for the dismissal.
After the departure of Bashar, spin wizard Muralitharan plucked two quick wickets to convert Bangladesh's steady start into struggle. Rajin Saleh was first to go for a painstaking 29 ball duck and a restless Shahriar Nafees soon followed him gifting his wicket away for the third consecutive time in the series. Nafees scored 29 from 77 deliveries and appeared set to produce a big score before the rush of blood again thwarted his progress.
After another couple of rain induced stop-start, play was finally called off due to bad light, and Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful have to perform another rescue act tomorrow with flown in Tushar Imran to save Bangladesh’s face in the Test match.