Mathews, de Silva fifties keep Sri Lanka steady on rain-curtailed Day 3 of Dhaka Test

Half-centuries from Angelo Mathews (58 not out) and Dhananjaya de Silva (58) have pushed Sri Lanka within 83 runs of Bangladesh’s first innings total on a rain-truncated Day 2 of Dhaka Test.

The tourists reached 282 for 5 at stumps and are now in a better position to force a result than Bangladesh, but another draw looks in the cards with 39 overs lost to rain at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

The hosts began the day positively as Ebadot Hossain (2-78) went through nightwatchman Kasum Rajitha’s defences with the second ball of the morning. Shakib Al Hasan tossed one up to send Dimuth Karunaratne (80) packing midway through the first session.

Ebadot, Shakib (3-59) and Taijul Islam delivered fine spells early on, but the batsmen resisted the foray, much to the Tigers’ frustration.

Mathews and de Silva dug deep and pressed on as rain swept in five balls before lunch and proceeded to wash out the entire second session with the islanders still 155 runs adrift.

The duo carved out Sri Lanka’s most prolific partnership, 102 for the fifth wicket, with contrasting approaches to their innings.

Mathews stayed sedate, leaving and defending most deliveries, and clubbed only five boundaries in his 153-ball innings. The allrounder hoicked Shakib over long off for a six to reach his 38th Test fifty.

De Silva was more adventurous and rode his luck through his 95-ball innings. He scored 30 off 40 deliveries before rain forced the covers on for an early lunch, but lightened up on the pedal after play resumed later delayed by bad light.

Shakib snared de Silva on review midway through the final session as he spun one through for a faint edge to the wicketkeeper.

Following de Silva’s departure, Sri Lanka looked to see out the day without further damage as Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal (10) added only 16 off 55 balls with the light waning.

There were signs of the ball starting to turn big on Wednesday while the seamers extracted variable bounce from the track.