The signal Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes sent was very solid: a return in the second Test. And they batted accordingly, scoring 232 in the second-wicket partnership, starting from zero. But at stumps on the third day, the signal dimmed to its lowest, with the home side left with just two wickets and trailing by 178 runs.
Inexperience, rash decisions -- whatever you may call it, the image the Tigers posted today is the proof that they still lack temperament. The only solace are the maiden centuries by Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes, both bowled by Ajantah Mendis.
The home side managed to avoid follow on, with the still-fresh-memory of the Dhaka Test when the visitors overpowered them by the huge margin of an innings and 248 runs.
Mahmudullah and Al Amin were batting on 29 and 3 respectively.
After resuming their batting at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium this morning, both Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes appeared resolute through their innings, posting an appreciable temperament. But they faltered after scoring centuries, failing to resist rushing for the slog.
The last major wicket to fall, Sohag Gazi returned for a duck trapped by Mendis leg before.
Before him, Nasir Hossain, who hammered 42 off 65 balls, also fell victim to Mendis, returning to pavilion after giving a catch to wicketkeeper Chandimal.
Mendis did the most harm to the Bangladesh innings picking up the four wickets (for 84 runs) who contributed the most runs for the home side.
Shakib Al Hasan was dismissed immediately after reaching his fifty off 89 balls as he offered a simple catch to Karunaratne off the bowling of Perera.
Earlier, an injured Mushfiqur Rahim was forced into the crease to bat after the top order imploded despite twin tons by the two helping the Tigers post a solid reply to Sri Lanka’s imposing total.
Shamsur and Imrul reached their maiden centuries off 181 and 185 balls, recording the highest second wicket partnership for Bangladesh in the process.
Imrul was particularly merciless on the bowlers, hitting 16 boundaries and a six on his way to the century.
Shamsur was in no sense the silent partner, as his century was composed off ten boundaries and a six.
Lankan bowlers were wayward throughout the early parts of the day, with their field being sloppy as well.
The visitors dropped three chances, and bowled 15 no-balls, 11 of which came from the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep.
However, the clawed their way back into the match with three quick wickets, as Shamsur, Imrul and Mominul Haque all perished playing reckless shots.
Shamsur was the first one dismissed today, as he tried an ugly slog off Ajantha Mendis’ ball and was bowled.
Imrul was out in the same fashion off Mendis’ bowling, but he hurt his hamstring in the process and had to be carried out of the field on a stretcher.
In between the dismissals, Dilruwan Perera trapped Mominul lbw after the batsman made 13 of 24 balls.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiq was also out to Perera after scoring 20 off 56 balls.
The Tigers ended day two on 86 for one, after opener Tamim Iqbal was bowled in the first over of the innings for a duck.
Sri Lanka scored 587 runs in their first innings, anchored by ace batsman Kumar Sangakkara’s 319.
Sangakkara hammered 32 boundaries and eight sixes on his way to become the fastest to 11,000 Test runs, getting there in just 208 innings.
West Indies batting great Brian Lara remains the second fastest scoring the 11,000 in 213 innings.
Shakib was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers, claiming five wickets for 148.
Nasir Hossian picked up two scalps while Al Amin, Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah picked up one wicket each.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim did not stand behind the stumps yesterday due to an injury to his left hand.
Shamsur Rahman replaced him as the stand-in keeper.
Mushfiq was hurt on the field on the first day of the Test while attempting to hold on to a delivery which went down the leg side.
An X-ray report yesterday suggested that he had slightly damaged his finger.
In the first match of the series, Lankans hammered the Tigers by the huge margin of an innings and 248 runs.
The Lankans have a nearly flawless record against Bangladesh, when it comes to Test cricket.
Of the 14 matches that the two teams faced, Sri Lanka have won 13 of them.