Kushal Silva's maiden ton puts Sri Lanka in command vs Bangladesh

Sri Lankan opener Kaushal Silva hit his maiden test ton to give the visitors a commanding advantage on day two of the first Test against Bangladesh.

Dhaka: Opener Kaushal Silva hit a maiden Test century to lead a dominant batting display by Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Tuesday. Silva scored 139 as the tourists reached 375-5 by stumps at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, a lead of 143 over Bangladesh's first innings total of 232 with five wickets in hand.

Kaushal Silva celebrates his ton. Pic/AFP
Kaushal Silva celebrates his ton. Pic/AFP 

The right-hander put on 118 for the first wicket with Dimuth Karunaratne (53) and then teamed up with veteran Kumar Sangakkara (75) to add a further 155 runs for the second wicket. Sri Lanka will resume on Wednesday looking to grab a really sizeable lead and have the hosts on the ropes in the first match of the two-Test series.

"This has been a good day for us as a team and for me personally," a delighted Silva told reporters. "We now need to bat at least two more sessions and put up a big score. "The wicket will slow down as the match progresses. If it starts to turn it will be hard work for the batsmen. The spinners will have a better chance on this pitch."

Bangladesh's bowlers, who managed just one wicket in the morning session on the even-paced pitch, claimed four in the post-tea period to slow Sri Lanka's run spree. Left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three for 94, including the vital wicket of Silva.

Sri Lanka, who started the day on 60-0, had moved to 118 when left-hander Karunaratne was snapped up at short cover off Shakib just before lunch. After a barren post-lunch period, Bangladesh removed Silva and Sangakkara in quick succession in the final session. They claimed two more wickets as Sri Lanka slipped from a comfortable 273-1 to 375-5.

Mahela Jayawardene was unbeaten on 42 when play was called off soon after the dismissal of nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal in the final over, from Sohag Gazi. Silva reached the three-figure mark in his seventh Test after making 95 and 58 in the Dubai Test against Pakistan earlier this month.

But he was lucky to achieve the landmark after being dropped by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim behind the stumps and again by Shamsur Rahman early in his innings. Silva had another reprieve before lunch when he was caught behind off seamer Al-Amin Hossain. But the umpire called a no-ball because the bowler's foot had hit the stumps just as the ball was being delivered.

He moved from 85 to 97 with a flurry of boundaries and then reached his century by pulling Shakib to the fine-leg fence for another four. Sangakkara looked set for his 34th Test hundred until he edged a catch to the slips off Al-Amin, who was finally rewarded for his hard work in unresponsive conditions.

Silva, who hit 16 boundaries and two sixes, was dismissed five overs later when he was trapped leg-before by Shakib. Dinesh Chandimal helped Jayawardene add 72 for the fourth wicket before being bowled by Shakib for 40.

Al-Amin said his team was not out of the Test yet. "The first session tomorrow is very important because we need to bowl them out within 450," the seamer said. "I don't think our batsmen played to their full potential in the first innings. All of them can bat well. It is still possible to draw this match." The two Test matches will be followed by two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals.

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