© AFP

Bangladesh held their nerve to secure a four-wicket win with Mushfiqur Rahim unbeaten on 22 not out and Mehedi Hasan scoring the winning runs. © AFP

Bangladesh celebrated their 100th Test match with only their fourth overseas win and first against Sri Lanka as Tamim Iqbal’s 82 helped the side chase down 191 on the fifth and final day in Colombo on Sunday (March 19).

This was Bangladesh’s ninth Test win overall. Two of their previous wins in away Tests came against a West Indies side weakened thorough contract disputes in 2009, while the other win came against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2013.

Sri Lanka, defending just 35 runs in the final session and requiring six more wickets, kept the fight on. They removed Shakib Al Hasan, who made a fine 116 in the first innings, and Mosaddek Hossain, but Bangladesh held their nerve to secure a four-wicket win with Mushfiqur Rahim unbeaten on 22 not out and Mehedi Hasan scoring the winning runs.

“Obviously I feel great. The boys really stepped up under pressure and there were lot of partnerships in the bowling. I really enjoyed it. If you look at the last few series, we have played some good cricket.” – Mushfiqur Rahim

There were a few nervous moments for Bangladesh. Rahim was adjudged lbw on 11 off Dilruwan when Bangladesh were 167 for 5, but the decision was overturned on review. Mosaddek Hossain then offered a tough return catch to Rangana Herath, the captain, but was put down.

That didn’t deter Mosaddek as he continued to attack Herath, hitting a couple of boundaries off him, and taking Bangladesh within two runs of victory before falling to the left-arm spinner.

Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman (41) did most of the heavy-lifting in the chase after Herath struck twice in two balls to send back Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes.

Though they were strong in defence, Tamim and Sabbir also put the bad balls away promptly, not allowing Sri Lanka’s spinners to dictate terms on a surface that was aiding them. With Bangladesh 60 runs shy of victory, Tamim went for a big hit, but skied it towards long on. Dinesh Chandimal ran back to take a stunning catch to halt the third-wicket partnership at 109.

Bangladesh’s Test wins

Opposition

Margin

Venue

Start Date

Zimbabwe

226 runs

Chittagong

January 6, 2005

West Indies

95 runs

Kingstown

July 9, 2009

West Indies

4 wickets

St George’s

July 17, 2009

Zimbabwe

143 runs

Harare

April 25, 2013

Zimbabwe

3 wickets

Dhaka

October 25, 2014

Zimbabwe

162 runs

Khulna

November 3, 2014

Zimbabwe

186 runs

Chittagong

November 12, 2014

England

108 runs

Dhaka

October 28, 2016

Sri Lanka

4 wickets

Colombo (PSS)

March 15, 2017

Dilruwan then struck again, trapping Sabbir lbw, the batsman missing an attempted sweep to be struck in front. He was ruled out on review. But, by then, the damage had been done, and Rahim, who came in next, maintained his composure to lead his team to 191 for 6.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 319 after an 80-run partnership between Dilruwan and Suranga Lakmal for the ninth wicket.

Perera, resuming on 26 from 126 balls, started opening up and looked for scoring opportunities from the onset. He brought up his fourth Test half-century off the 165th ball he faced.

“This was a very important win. It wasn’t easy. We had to come back strong after the first Test.” – Shakib Al Hasan

Meanwhile, Lakmal extended his score from 14 to 42. He had a bit of luck going his way. A thick outside edge flew wide of second slip to the boundary, a few wafts outside off marginally missed the outside edge and he mistimed a shot straight up in the air but it fell in a vacant spot at deep midwicket.

The runs might have been fortuitous but they were crucial nonetheless, and Lakmal gained more control of his shots as the innings progressed.

The stand ended, ironically enough, due to a misfield, at short midwicket. The batsmen tried to sneak a quick single, but Subhasis Roy fired in a quick throw to find Perera (50) short of his crease.

Lakmal then looked to clear the man at long off but didn’t get the timing right, giving Shakib Al Hasan his fourth wicket. Shakib finished with figures of 4 for 74, while Mustafizur Rahman took 3 for 78.