Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das struck 50 after Tamim Iqbal made 100 to put Bangladesh on pole position in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong on Tuesday. Liton hit 54 not out and Mushfiqur made 53 not out as the pair added 98 runs uninterrupted to lead Bangladesh to 318-3 on stumps on day three, answering Sri Lanka’s first innings 397. Tamim retired at 133 after reaching his 10th Test hundred with a four and Asitha Fernando’s single from consecutive balls for tea. But he is expected to resume his innings of 217 balls – including 15 fours – on the fourth day, when Bangladesh will try to increase their scoring percentage as they pursue a lead in the first innings.
Liton joined Mushfiqur when Tamim failed to return after the break and helped Bangladesh continue their dominance without experiencing any serious problems.
Liton pulled Lasith Embuldeniya for four to make his 12th Test fifty out of 96 balls before Mushfiqur reached his own fifty, his 26th in Tests, in the next over with a single by Kasun Rajitha.
Liton led the attack with eight fours, while Mushfiqur played the anchor role as he took 124 balls to muster his fifty, with only two fours to date.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers briefly halted Bangladesh’s runflow after Fernando Tamim’s 162-run opening score broke with Mahmudul Hasan, who made 58 from 142 balls before slipping a leg-side throw behind the stumps.
Concussion substitute Rajitha then removed Najmul Hossain for one and Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque for two to restore some parity to the game.
Replacing Vishwa Fernando, who was hit on the helmet on Monday and was able to bowl just eight overs in the innings, Rajitha struck with his fourth when Najmul gave a regular flyout to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Five overs later, Rajitha swung a ball in to break Mominul’s off-stump.
Tamim was previously dealt out, falling behind at 102 to Ramesh Mendis, but the decision was overturned on a review.
Bangladesh resumed at 76-0 and started the game of the day with confidence as Tamim sent off the swift left arm Fernando for two fours in the second over of the day before making his 32nd Test 50 from 73 balls with a boundary forward brought.
Sri Lanka dropped the only chance they got in the morning when Embuldeniya Mahmudul knocked off Asitha’s fine leg in 51st place.
The 21-year-old, who was only playing his fifth Test, soon completed his second Test half-century in 110 balls when he shoved Asitha into the middle of the wicket for a double.
Angelo Mathews had kept the Sri Lankan innings together before falling painfully at 199.
Off spinner Nayeem Hasan claimed 6-105 for Bangladesh.
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