Liton, Mushfiqur hit fifties to inspire Bangladesh recovery

DHAKA (AFP): Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das hit unbeaten fifties to help Bangladesh recover from a top-order collapse in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday.

Liton remained unbeaten on 72 with Mushfiqur 62 not-out as Bangladesh reached 153-5 by tea on the first day after electing to bat at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

The pair added 129 in their unbroken stand after Sri Lanka’s pace bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando shared five wickets between them to reduce Bangladesh to 24-5 in a chaotic first hour of play.

Substitute fielder Kamindu Mendis dropped Liton on 47 off Fernando at backward square leg before the right-hander brought up his 13th Test fifty with a boundary in the same over.

Mushfiqur, who scored 105 runs in the first Test, played a controlled innings before a powerful cover drive off left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama brought his fifty, his 26th in Tests.

The hosts made a nightmare start to the game as Rajitha bowled opener Mahmudul Hasan for a duck with the second ball of the morning.

Fellow opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored a century in the drawn first Test in Chittagong, also fell for a duck as he sent a leading edge off Fernando in the next over to be caught brilliantly by Jayawickrama at backward point.

Skipper Mominul Haque tried to settle the nerves with two fours, including one off the first ball he faced, but soon edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella when on nine.

Rajitha then found a big gap between the bat and pad of Najmul Hossain, sending his middle-stump cart-wheeling with an inswinger as the left-hander was dismissed for eight.

Rajitha delivered a body blow next ball to trap Shakib Al Hasan leg-before for a first-ball duck, leaving the Bangladesh batting line-up in tatters at 24-5.

Liton and Mushfiqur hit 10 boundaries each so far to lead Bangladesh’s recovery.

Sri Lanka had rewarded Rajitha with a place in the eleven after he impressed in Chittagong by taking 4-60 playing the match as a concussion substitute for Vishwa Fernando.

He was one of their two changes, with Jayawickrama replacing Lasith Embuldeniya.

Bangladesh made two changes from the first Test as Mosaddek Hossain and Ebadot Hossain replaced the injured Nayeem Hasan and Shoriful Islam.