Sri Lanka eyes victory in 2nd test after Bangladesh collapse

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PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka is eyeing its first test win in more than a year at Bangladesh's expense after finishing day three 259 runs ahead on Saturday.

Bangladesh, in reply to Sri Lanka's 493-7 declared, was building nicely at 214-3 but collapsed to be all out for 251. Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama triggered the turnaround and became the fifth Sri Lankan to claim a 5-for on debut as he took 6-92.

With a first-innings lead of 242, Sri Lanka was 17-3 at stumps in the second test.

The pitch offered some assistance for spin and Jayawickrama cleverly mixed up his deliveries to trouble Bangladesh. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal and offspinner Ramesh Mendis took two wickets apiece as Bangladesh was bowled out in 83 overs.

“The advice that I got from the seniors," Jayawickrama said, “was to not be rattled when the batsmen go after the bowling. They wanted me to bowl lots of dot balls and create the pressure, and that worked.”

Tamim Iqbal was solid troubling the Sri Lanka seamers with an array of attacking shots. With the seamers unable to make the breakthrough, captain Dimuth Karunaratne turned to his spinners and Jayawickrama and Mendis bowled accurately, denying Tamim frequent boundaries.

Tamim, who had been dismissed for 90 in the first test, fell for 92 when Jayawickrama foxed him with a ball that did not turn much.

Mominul Haque (49) and Mushfiqur Rahim (40) fought back but they were dismissed either side of tea as Sri Lanka wrestled back the initiative.

Mushfiqur's dismissal ended his 63-run stand with Mominul in the 62nd over and started Bangladesh's descent as they lost the last seven wickets for 37 runs.

Mominul was dropped on 1 and 11, both off Jayawickrama, and his luck finally ran out one short of a half-century when he missed a full toss by Mendis that rapped plumb on the pads.

Jayawickrama claimed his fifth wicket when he trapped Mehidy Hasan leg before wicket for 16. He is the fifth Sri Lankan to take a five-wicket haul on debut after Kosala Kuruppuarachchi, Upul Chandana, Akila Dananjaya and Lasith Embuldeniya.

“Really happy with the effort to take six wickets on my debut, but a lot of work is left to be done over the next two days and I am looking forward to the challenge,” Jayawickrama said.

Taskin Ahmed was Jayawickrama’s sixth victim and third given out lbw. Bangladesh was not picking his straight one and he could have run through the tail, but with the new ball taken after 80 overs, Lakmal cleaned up.

With two full days left and a massive first-innings lead, Sri Lanka was expected to enforce the follow on, but didn't.

In the second innings, Lahiru Thirimanne was caught on 2 and Oshada Fernando stumped on 1. At stumps, Karunarate was 13 not out, and Angelo Mathews on 1.

Sri Lanka will secure the series by winning the second test after the first one ended in a tame draw.

Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo was disappointed with his side's batting.

“They are putting in the hours in the field and the nets. Unfortunately, today we just came unstuck,” he said. "We made some poor decisions, I suppose, when we were batting. There’s no excuse for the batting failure.”

Domingo was confident his players will not give up.

“Sri Lanka are dominating at the moment, but if we can pick up early wickets tomorrow morning, cause a little bit of jitters in the change room, you never know," he said.


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