Sri Lanka v Bangladesh Tests - Men's
Bangladesh in a spin as Sri Lanka close in
Taijul Islam out in bizarre circumstances on fourth day of second Test as hosts push for memorable win in Kandy
3 May 2021, 06:35 AM AEST
Sri Lanka's inexperienced spin duo of Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis took all five Bangladesh wickets to fall in the tourists' second innings on day four of the second Test.
At stumps on Sunday, Bangladesh had slumped to 5-177, chasing an unlikely 437 to win as Sri Lanka closed in on a memorable win.
The hosts will need five wickets on the final day to wrap up the game and the series after the first Test ended in a draw.
In their first innings, Bangladesh were cruising at 3-214 in response to Sri Lanka's 7-493 declared before collapsing to 251 and a first-innings deficit of 242.
The visitors' first dig ended in inusual circumstances when Taijul Islam kicked his stumps with his foot as his shoe came off and was given out hit wicket.
Sri Lanka then extended the lead, adding 194 before declaring for a second time.
Jayawickrama and Mendis had accounted for eight wickets in the first innings and they were a handful again in the second with Mendis finishing with 3-86 and Jayawickrama 2-58.
Jayawickrama was a last-minute call-up to the squad due to injuries and bowled exceptionally well with a clever change of angles and flight that kept Bangladesh batsmen on edge throughout.
In the first innings, Jayawickrama picked up 6-92, the best figures by a Sri Lankan on debut.
He should have claimed the best figures in a match by a Sri Lankan debutant as well but Mushfiqur Rahim was dropped by Lahiru Thirimanne at slip.
He now has 8-150 in the game and only Akila Dananjaya has fared better on debut, having claimed 8-44 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2018.
Amid few bright spots for the tourists, Mushfiqur went on to top score with his 40 from 63 deliveries that included five boundaries.
Mendis, in his second Test, wasn't as accurate but managed to get extra bounce that also troubled the batsmen and was pleased to have built a partnership with Jayawickrama.
"Praveen bowled so well. We play for the same team in first-class cricket ... there is a bowling partnership there," Mendis said.
"He bowls and puts pressure from one end, and I was doing the same. If we get one more wicket, we're into the bowlers, so I think we'll be able to get them out quickly."
Sri Lanka haven't won a Test since January 2020, a span that covers eight matches.