For the first time in many days, Bangladesh played like true tigers at the Test level. Although they still went onto lose the 2nd Test by an innings and 90 runs, the efforts of their Skipper Mohammad Ashraful and teenager Mushfiqur Rahim will inspire their cricket for years to come. Ashraful remained unconquered while Mushfiqur Rahim lasted 183 deliveries which was a reflection of the good technique and temperament this wicket keeper batsman possesses.
The third day started with Bangladesh at 69 for 4 to be soon 78 for 5 with former Skipper Habibul Bashar not able to prove that he deserved a place in the side. Bashar went very early to Dilhara Fernando and it looked that the Tigers will fold quickly in the morning session. But that wasn’t to be which had come as a pleasant surprise. The two very young Ashraful and Mushfiqur batted on and on with discipline and as time went by, their scores also looked very good. At one point of time, it did look that the Bangladeshis could avoid an innings defeat.
The two right handers – Ashraful and Mushfiqur put on one of the greatest partnership ever in Bangladesh history by getting 192 runs for the sixth wicket. What was important was that the pair lasted together for nearly 60 overs that is almost two full sessions! It was only after Tea that Mushfiqur Rahim got out to a return catch to Muralitharan. The tiny wicket keeper batsman got 80 runs with 9 fours and also a six. Bangladesh will have to stick with the youngster in all the games they play as he is a precious talent.
The second new ball was taken by the Sri Lankans as and when it was available which saw Chaminda Vaas get instant success by rapping up Sharif and Mortaza (first ball duck) dead infront of the stumps with his incoming deliveries. A couple of run outs later followed and that was it for Bangladesh, their fight ending at 299 in 86.2 overs. Despite the big partnership for the sixth wicket, Bangladesh were still bowled under the 90 overs which is disappointing. Ashraful was stranded on 129 having survived 236 balls with the help of 18 fours. He batted for more than five hours which is what is expected from a Test Match batsman. Kumar Sangakkara got the Man of the Match for his double century.