SL vs Ban - 1st Test, Day 3: Ashraful, Rahim slam tons as Bangladesh dominate
Zeenews Sports Bureau
Regular updates from Day 3 of the first Test match between hosts Sri Lanka and the touring Bangladeshi side at Galle.
BANGLADESH Overs: 136 II Score: 438/4 Trail by 132
STUMPS: The day has totally belonged to Bangladesh. Ashraful and Rahim dominated the final two sessions and are now even picking up the pace. The visitors ended the day at 438/4 with the fifth wicket partnership now worth a mamoth 261 runs.
Ashraful's unbeaten 189 is the highest score by a Bangladeshi in international cricket and Rahim is on the other end at a very commendable 152*. They do still trail Sri Lanka by 132 runs, but from a point where it looked like a struggle to avoid the follow-on, day 4 may well be more about who can claim the bragging rights of a first innings lead.
It's the end of day 3 meanwhile and unless we see a sharp change of fortunes or in bowling performances, it's unlikely this match will head to a result.
BANGLADESH Overs: 106 II Score: 330/4 Trail by 240
TEA: Some stellar batting by Rahim and Ashraful has seen Bangladesh come back into the game. The post-lunch session saw Ashraful continue his sturdy batting and is now on 148*. Mushfiqur Rahim, meanwhile, has been the man of the past few hours, closing in on only his second ever Test century and goes in for tea at 92*.
With the Bangladeshis trailing by 240 with two in-form batsmen at the crease and 6 wickets in hand, the follow-on is effectively off the table and a draw is looking like a rather viable option. Should that happen, it'll be a great result for Bangladesh away from home. But let's not jump the gun just yet. Let's have some tea instead!
BANGLADESH Overs: 73 II Score: 224/4 Trail by 346
LUNCH: The trend has been broken as the Sri Lankan bowlers picked up an unprecedented (for this match at least) two wickets in the session. First Mominul Haque perished having completed his 50, and then new man Mahmadullah fell for nought the following over.
But all the while, Ashraful has remained steady and steadfast, reaching an important century and steadying the innings just as it was looking to fall apart. Rahim, the new man in, has already made 25 as the two have shared a valuable partnership worth 47 runs already.
It's a long way before they get out of the woods, but the Bangladeshis would be hoping that Ashraful stays at the crease for long enough for the visitors to avoid a follow-on. They need another 146 runs to make that happen, though. Time for lunch.
BANGLADESH Overs: 43 II Score: 135/2 Trail by 435
If the Test match`s trend continues, Sri Lanka should only manage grabbing three wickets in the day, one wicket per session. But they`ll be looking to clamp down on the lower order and will hunt for that early important wicket.
Mohammad Ashraful is batting on a steady and strong 65* while his partner Mominul Haque is on 35* as the day`s play begins. Day 3 may well decide whether Bengladesh can salvage anything at all from this match. At the moment, it seems increasingly unlikely, but Ashraful`s still at the crease and that`s a promising sign for the Bangladeshis.