Neither team wanted to force a result
The first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka ended in a draw, as expected due to the nature of the wicket, a flat surface which showed little wear and tear over the course of five days.
The players shook hands after the minimum number of overs that were required to be bowled on the day before the match could be called a draw was completed. Skipper Mominul Haque and his Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne appeared to be content after the match. Neither side had risked enough on a batting-friendly pitch because of the how the match progressed over the first four days.
Four wickets fell on the first day, seven on the second, three on the third. The highest number of wickets then fell on the fourth day, when Bangladesh lost their seven remaining first-innings wickets before Sri Lanka lost two before the close of play. That gave Bangladesh some hope of getting more than a draw from the Test match and the morning session induced some excitement yesterday.
Resuming the day on 39 for two, Sri Lanka's intent was clear. The visitors wanted to throw Bangladesh off their game.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne looked solid while Kusal Mendis started putting pressure back on Bangladesh. Mendis in particular scored at a fast rate and it appeared that Sri Lanka would look to put pressure by putting Bangladesh in to bat on the final session of the day.
It was Taijul Islam who brought Bangladesh a chance at making a game out of it. Bowling in tandem with Shakib Al Hasan, he scalped three more wickets, including Mendis's with a near unplayable delivery. Shakib bagged one too, albeit with a long hop, but it reduced Sri Lanka to 161 for six.
The pair kept creating chances, but on the last day and with a little bit of luck, Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella held on. In the absence of Shoriful Islam, out of the rest of the series following a fracture in his right hand, Bangladesh just could not create the necessary pressure.
"We tried to do something different and put them under pressure, but we played some poor shots and then we had to change tactics. We unfortunately couldn't put pressure on Bangladesh on the last day," Karunaratne said at presentations ceremony.
Later at press conference, Dhananjaya de Silva said his side were happy with the draw. "Definitely it was going to be a draw. We knew that on the first day when they were batting," he added.
Tamim Iqbal had batted positively during his 133-run knock, but Bangladesh, while looking good, lost wickets and did not up the tempo on the fourth day with the bat. It was clear Mominul did not feel comfortable going for the kill much earlier on Day Four by batting with more intent.
"If you get too excited on this wicket, you can lose wickets. If Liton [Das] didn't get out, we could have taken a chance," he said at the press conference after Bangladesh put pressure on Lankans on the final day, leaving it too late.