Lankans begin with a sense of urgency
Right from the get go today, Sri Lanka batters have made their intentions -- to play proactive cricket -- clear on the fifth and final day of the Chattogram Test.
Resuming the day on 39 for one after 17.1 overs, overnight batter Dimuth Karunaratne is playing to the pitch of the ball to spinners while Kusal Mendis is grabbing the bull by the horns. The right-handed Mendis is apparently scoring at a rate which is familiar in T20 cricket, the shortest version of the game.
Taijul Islam began the proceedings for the Tigers. As yesterday's play ended after Taijul scalped the night-watchman in the over's opening ball, new batter Mendis was on strike to face the left-arm off-spinner. Mendis struck two boundaries in the over and went on to strike Khaled Ahmed, Taijul's bowling partner from the other end, for three boundaries in a row in the pacer's second over of the day.
Mendis raced to his forties after having faced only 25 deliveries. Mendis' aggressive intent combined with his skipper Karunaratne's proactive footwork, denying the spinners the chance to grab maximum purchase off the surface, is working well for the visitors as they found themselves reducing the deficit in no time, but more importantly without any real scare.
The Lankans have scored near a run-a-ball so far and raced to three figures in the 28th over unscathed, their lead approaching fifty. For the Tigers, the spinners have still shown glimpses of the threat they can be as they try to find a consistent rhythm and adapt their lengths against the proactive Lankans.