The satisfaction of declaring the first innings with 541 runs in Pallekele Test is now a distant past for Mominul Haque! Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya De Silver’s record pairing hopes of winning have been mixed in Kandy’s sky and now unknown fears are peeking in the opposite direction. The second possibility that is burning without a draw is the rate of Bangladesh! Karunaratne and Dhananjay’s record of 322 runs is a slim chance. At the end of yesterday’s game, the hosts were only 29 runs behind the visitors. And even as the wicket comes on the fourth day, as the batting has become a paradise, the Lankans can throw a counter challenge with a quick healthy lead. The team’s coach Mickey Arthur gave such a roar yesterday. At least the Lankans are no longer afraid of the rate.
Mickey Arthur’s table is clear. If you pick up a quick run in the last three hours, you can put a run around two arrows on the opponent. The coach at Kushli knows, ‘The wicket is still very flat. But there is a funny thing called stress. If we have enough runs and time, who knows what is going to happen! ‘
Taskin Ahmed, who faced the media as Bangladesh’s representative at the end of the fourth day, said of a goal, “This Test is more likely to be a draw.” In this wicket, we have no choice but to bowl in a good place with patience. ‘
The bowlers are not getting the benefit of Pallekele’s wicket even if they throw the ball in a good place. In cricket terminology, this type of wicket is called ‘runway’ or ‘highway’. What else is smooth for batsmen? Otherwise, there will be no help for the bowlers in the fourth day’s wicket, either! Mickey Arthur himself was shocked to see such a one-sided use of the wicket, ‘This is the first time I’ve seen a Test in Pallekele. I thought I would blow up Bangladesh with pace and swing; But my plan did not work. It’s a very flat wicket. ‘
So Sri Lanka was not upset to see the opponent exceed 500. Dimuth Karunaratne’s batting mentality can be instructive for any batsman. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. The first two days of fielding are followed by the next two days of batting. He has scored the first double century of his career. The hosts will have enough time in the match planning table for the captain’s triple century. At least in the first session today, Sri Lanka is not announcing the innings. When there are plans to speed up the run too, Karunaratne is just 8 runs away from the three arrow magical figure. The first double century was also in front of his partner Dhananjay. In batting paradise, he will run for the remaining 48 runs to reach the target.
On the other hand, after spending a day without wickets, Bangladesh is coming down on the last day with a specific goal, a draw. Defensive bowling and fielding are the only way to thwart the hosts’ fast-paced mission. But the team has the physical and mental strength to do that? Taskin Ahmed assured. And the biggest place of trust is the wicket of Pallekele. With 10 wickets in four days, there is not enough reason to bowl out a team in two or three hours in those 22 yards.
However, if Mickey Arthur’s ‘pressure’ crushes Tamim Iqbal, it is different. Overcoming that pressure will be the best result of the last day in front of Bangladesh which has raised hopes in body language in the last four days.