x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Game on in Galle as Bangladesh duo take attack to Sri Lanka bowlers

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford concedes hosts are under pressure after record partnership between Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim.

Mushfiqur Rahim, right, and Mohammad Ashraful both scored fighting centuries in Galle. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP
Mushfiqur Rahim, right, and Mohammad Ashraful both scored fighting centuries in Galle. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP

Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim both scored centuries in a record stand as Bangladesh dominated the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Ashraful hit an unbeaten 189, the highest by a Bangladeshi in Tests, on his comeback and Rahim made a career-best 152 not out as the tourists closed on 438 for four in their first innings at stumps, still 122 runs behind Sri Lanka.

Their 261-run unbroken stand was Bangladesh's highest for any wicket in Tests and Ashraful, who was playing in his first Test since December 2011, said: "We needed a partnership and I had one with Mushfiq.

"The wicket was very nice and I believed if I don't make any mistake I won't be out. I just wanted to continue, just batting, batting and batting.

Ashraful believes Bangladesh are still in a position to put Sri Lanka under pressure in the closing two days, saying: "It's still a very good wicket and I think we can bat two more sessions easily."

It was a frustrating day for Sri Lanka as none of their bowlers could keep up the pressure on Ashraful and the wicketkeeper-batsman Rahim on a good batting pitch.

The hosts went wicketless after striking twice in the opening 11 overs.

"Certainly we are not in the position that we hoped when we came to the ground this morning. We were hoping for a better day and all credit to Bangladesh," said the Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford.

"Obviously we believe we can win and I think everybody knows the game can change rapidly. There is still a lot of cricket left in this match."

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