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Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes shared an unbroken 201-run stand on Thursday as Bangladesh fought back after Sri Lanka had piled up 587 in the second and final Test in Chittagong.
The second-wicket pair batted through the morning session of the third day’s play to take the overnight score of 86-1 to 201 without further loss by lunch at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.
Shamsur, playing only his second Test, was unbeaten at the break on 93 with the help of nine boundaries and a six.
Left-handed Kayes celebrated his return to the Test side after two years with a stroke-filled 91 not out that included 15 fours and a six.
Both players were on the verge of their maiden Test centuries after compiling Bangladesh’s highest ever second-wicket stand, surpassing the 200 by Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddiqui against India in Dhaka in 2010.
The duo had joined hands on Wednesday afternoon after Tamim was bowled by Suranga Lakmal off the fourth ball of the innings before a run had been scored.
Bangladesh, perhaps inspired by Kumar Sangakkara’s triple-century on the second day, tamed the Sri Lankan attack on the sluggish pitch that tended to low at times.
It was a much-improved performance by the hosts who were thrashed by an innings and 248 runs in the first Test in Dhaka last week, their 14th loss in 15 matches against Sri Lanka with one draw.
Seamer Nuwan Pradeep was Sri Lanka’s most expensive bowler, conceding 11 no-balls in figures of 0-79 from just 12 overs.
Lunch scores on the third day of the second and final Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Chittagong on Thursday:
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 587 (K. Sangakkara 319, M. Jayawardene 72, A. Mendis 47, Shakib Al Hasan 5-148)
Bangladesh 1st innings (overnight 86-1):
Tamim Iqbal b Lakmal 0
Shamsur Rahman not out 93
Imrul Kayes not out 91
Extras: (b4, nb13) 17
Total (for one wicket, 53 overs) 201
Fall of wicket: 1-0 (Tamim).
Bowling: Lakmal 11-2-32-1, Pradeep 12-2-79-0 (nb11), Mendis 8-1-31-0 (nb2), Perera 18-2-48-0, Mathews 4-1-7-0
Bangladesh trail by 386 runs with nine wickets in hand
Toss: Sri Lanka
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG) and Paul Reiffel (AUS)
TV umpire: Anisur Rahman (BAN)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)