Magical Mominul does it for TigersAzad Majumder . Chittagong
Mominul Haque scored a fabulous unbeaten century to help Bangladesh defy the odds and secure a draw in the second and final Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong on Saturday.
Sri Lanka accepted the draw with nearly an hour left before the scheduled close of play after Mominul survived a few anxious moments and pushed Nuwan Pradeep towards square leg to reach his century.
Set an improbable target of 467 with little over a day to bat, the Tigers never made an attempt to win, instead playing for a well-deserved draw at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, arguably their luckiest venue.
This was Bangladesh’s fourth draw in their last eight Tests, with three of them coming after a full five days’ play, underlining their rapid improvement in the format, especially as a batting unit.
This was also a much-needed result for Bangladesh after the innings and 248-runs mauling in Dhaka, which had coincided with an ICC meeting that debated their Test status.
Sri Lanka, riding a triple century from Kumar Sangakkara, dominated the game from the beginning but Bangladesh never said die and kept believing in themselves, which yielded a result for them.
The Tigers went into the second innings with nine Test centurions in their batting line-up, a rare show of depth that would be the envy of even some of the strongest teams in history.
Hence there was no shortage of confidence even when the pitch started to favour the spinners from the fourth afternoon.
Sri Lanka may not have Muttiah Muralitharan in their line-up anymore, and they were also missing the services of the experienced Rangana Herath through injury, but spinners Dilruwan Perera and Ajantha Mendis posed significant danger on this low and slow pitch.
Bangladesh successfully negotiated the spin duo to finish their second innings at 271-3 before Mathews came up to offer the draw. The Tigers showed such authority on the fifth day that Mendis, Sri Lanka’s six-wicket hero in the first innings, went wicket-less in his second attempt.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman deserve some credit for their 71-run stand, which denied Sri Lanka any kind of momentum in the second innings.
With the regular bowlers showing no sign of success, Mathews turned to part-time leg-break bowler Kithuruwan Vithanage, who was bowling for the first time in his short four-Test career.
Vithanage bowled Tamim for 31 to give Sri Lanka their first breakthrough, and first innings centurion Shamsur fell shortly after to Perera after playing a solid innings of 45.
On 91-2 at the lunch break after resuming play on 12-0 in the morning, Bangladesh were understandably nervous. When Perera trapped Imrul Kayes – the other first innings centurion – leg before for 25 in the second session, the uneasiness in the dressing room was bound to grow.
But Mominul and Sakib al Hasan frustrated Sri Lanka with a 120-run fourth-wicket stand that removed all nervousness.
They never opted for any typical defending, rather going for their shots whenever they had the opportunity, which helped to entertain the fans in an otherwise dull contest.
Mominul showed signs of nerves only when he approached his 100. However, unlike some of his team-mates who previously went for big shots to release the pressure in similar situations, the former BKSP boy was happy to get it with singles.
Mominul reaped his reward and scored the third Test century of his fledging seven-Test career, making him the new darling of Bangladesh cricket.
The Tigers have yet to lose a match in which Mominul has scored a century. Mominul had Sakib at the other end on 43 not out when the Tigers achieved the draw, perhaps indicating where the present and future of Bangladesh cricket lie.
Bangladesh 2nd innings 271-3 in 84.4 overs (Mominul 100 not out, Shamsur 45, Sakib 43 not out, Tamim 31; Perera 2-55) and 1st innings 426 (Shamsur 106, Imrul 115, Sakib 50, A Mendis 6-99, D Perera 3-119) v Sri Lanka 1st innings 587 (K Sangakkara 319, M Jayawardene 72, A Mendis 47, Sakib 5-148) and 2nd innings 305-4 dec (K Sangakkara 105, D Chandimal 100 not out).
Result: Match drawn.
Man of the match: K Sangakkara (SL)
Man of the series: K Sangakkara (SL)
Series: Sri Lanka win series 1-0.
comments powered by Disqus
Mominul Haque became only the second Bangladeshi to save a Test match with a fourth-innings century, joining Nafees Iqbal with his unbeaten 100 against Sri Lanka in the second Test in Chittagong on Friday. Full story
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews blasted Bangladesh for not trying to chase their target only for his counterpart Mushfiqur Rahim to hit back soon after the end of second Test in Chittagong on Saturday. Full story
The Bangladesh Cricket Board is content with the outcome of the International Cricket Council meeting in Singapore that saw the approval of a wide range of structural and governance reforms, a BCB official said on Saturday. Full story
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club made history by beating Calcutta giant Mohunbagan 1-0 in a must-win match to clinch a semi-final spot in the 119th IFA Shield on Saturday. Haitian playmaker Sony Norde scored the winner from a free kick... Full story
The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Saturday named paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza as the captain for the two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka. Mashrafee will lead the side in the absence of regular captain Mushfiqur Rahim... Full story
Dhaka closed out an innings defeat over Chittagong with a day and a half to spare and Alok Kapali hit a ton for Sylhet in the National Cricket League on Saturday. Full story
Mohammedan Sporting Club registered a 3-1 victory over Feni Soccer Club to finish their first phase campaign in the Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Saturday. Full story
Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf Saturday said he felt ‘cheated’ after South Africa abandoned their opposition to controversial reforms of the sport’s world body, allowing the proposals to be approved. Full story
Liverpool crushed Premier League leaders Arsenal 5-1 with a stunning display of attacking football at Anfield on Saturday that revived their title hopes and raised doubts about the visitors’ championship credentials. The first four goals came in the opening 20 minutes... Full story
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has admitted that a top-four Premier League finish may be the most that his side can hope to salvage from their desperate season. A run of three losses in five games has seen the defending... Full story
New Zealand seized control of the first Test against India and then proceeded to let go in a frenetic third day Saturday which saw 17 wickets fall. India, who started the day at 130-4 in their first innings, were 87-1 at stumps in... Full story
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Friday took aim at Jose Mourinho as he ridiculed the Chelsea manager’s claim that the London club are the ‘little horse’ in the title race. Mourinho’s side drew level with second-placed City thanks... Full story
Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri insisted on Friday that Colombia striker Radamel Falcao could yet recover from injury in time to go to the World Cup in Brazil. ‘I spoke to him on the phone yesterday (Thursday),’ said Ranieri at a press... Full story
South Korean striker Son Heung-Min hit his eighth Bundesliga goal of the season on Friday to seal Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach as the hosts’ slump continued. Full story
Brazilian striker Maicon Pereira, currently playing on loan at Ukrainian league side Mariupol, has died in a car crash, local media reported on Saturday. The R-Sport news agency reported that Maicon, who joined Ukraine champions Shakhtar Donetsk... Full story
Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed that the departure of captain Nemanja Vidic at the end of the season was a mutual decision. The Serbian defender will be out of contract at the end of June and will walk away from the club... Full story
Indiana’s George Hill had a career-high 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the NBA-leading Pacers edged Portland 118-113 in overtime on Saturday. David West scored a season-high 30 points... Full story
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed how he had a blazing row with the club’s former manager Andre Villas-Boas in front of the rest of the team. Villas-Boas was sacked by Tottenham in December following a poor run of results... Full story
Australian Scotty James joked he needed a cricket box to protect his private parts during Saturday’s Olympic snowboarding slopestyle semi-finals after injuring them in the heats, but it didn’t help him qualify for the final. The 20-year-old... Full story