The Bangladesh batsmen showed a gutsy performance, led by Mominul Haque and Liton Das, and held their nerve during the fifth and final day’s play as their first Test match against Sri Lanka ended in a draw at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium in the port city Sunday.
The Tigers were up against a tough task as they lost three quick wickets in the last hour of day four and at the beginning of day five, still trailed the Lankans by 119 runs with seven wickets in hand. Bangladesh eventually lost two wickets on the fifth day, batting for 73.1 overs, before Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal offered a draw, which Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah duly accepted.
The solid foundation on day five was laid by a brilliant 180-run fourth-wicket partnership between Mominul and Liton. They batted out the entire morning session with fluency and positive mindset. Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella dropped a tough chance against Mominul in the 56th over. Other than that, it was a thoroughly dominant batting performance by these two in the crucial session.
At lunch, Mominul and Liton had scored a combined 106 runs in 28.1 overs. Mominul went on to reach his sixth Test hundred in the fifth ball of the 71st over, thus becoming the first Bangladeshi, and 90th overall, to score centuries in both innings of a Test.
Mominul, who scored 176 in the first innings and 105 in the second, totaled 281 runs in the Chittagong Test, the highest for a Bangladeshi in a five-dayer.
On top of that, Mominul has converted all his five fifty scores in Tests in Chittagong into hundreds. No player has scored as many Test centuries at a venue without a fifty.
Mominul got out in the 78th over after scoring 105 off 174 balls with five boundaries and two sixes.
Just five overs later, Liton was dismissed while trying to clear the boundary and reach a well deserved maiden Test hundred with a maximum. Liton charged down the ground in the 83rd over and managed an edge. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera came running along from mid off to long on and took a diving catch. And so, it was a disappointing end to Liton’s superb innings.
The right-hander scored 94 off 182 balls with 11 fours.
After Liton’s dismissal, there was a slight chance for Sri Lanka to get some quick wickets as at that moment, Bangladesh were leading by just 79.
But Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain batted well as both remained unbeaten before the Test ended in a draw.
Mahmudullah scored 28 off 65 balls while Mosaddek was not out on eight off 53 deliveries.
The experienced Rangana Herath took two wickets for the tourist.
Mominul was adjudged man of the match for smashing 176 in the first innings and 105 in the second.
The second and final Test match starts Thursday at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
513 & 307/5 in 100 overs (Mominul 105, Liton 94) drew with Sri Lanka