Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva batted throughout the fourth day of the ongoing first Test match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and put the hosts in a safe position. Bangladesh bowlers had to toil hard but they couldn't really create enough threat. Sri Lanka added 283 to their overnight total and piled up 512 for three before bad light stopped play. The hosts were just 29 runs behind at the end of day four and the match is certainly heading towards a draw.
Karunaratne brought up his hundred in the first hour of the day. The southpaw reached the milestone of 247 deliveries.
Bangladesh bowlers, especially Taskin Ahmed, made a plan to bounce out Dhananjaya de Silva. But it did not pay off as both the batters displayed fantastic stroke-play and scored runs at a fast pace.
The duo added 102 runs in the first session to their overnight total.
Dhananjaya de Silva notched up his 7th Test hundred in the second session by pulling a short ball bowled by Taskin. This was his second Test hundred against Bangladesh.
A little while later skipper Karunaratne racked up his 150. Sri Lanka scored runs at a faster pace in the second session, adding 111 runs. Dhananjaya de Silva was unbeaten on 134 and Dimuth Karunaratne on 184 at tea.
Both of them reached their personal milestones after lunch. Karunaratne brought up his maiden double hundred in Tests in the third session, playing a streaky shot. But he was brilliant against the spinners. He came down the wicket and played a lot of conventional and reverse sweeps to negate the turn of the spinners.
Bad light affected play just before Karunaratne's double century.
Actions resumed soon but it became darker just after de Silva's 150. Sri Lanka finished with 512 for three.
The partnership between Karunaratne and de Silva was unbroken on 322. They became the fourth pair to bat out a day in Tests against Bangladesh.
With Karunaratne's double century, Bangladesh became the team conceding the most number of double hundreds (28) since their Test debut.
Taskin Ahmed, who bowled 25 overs in the innings so far, admitted that there was nothing for the bowlers in the wicket.
"To be honest, it has been a difficult wicket (for the bowlers). We tried our best but didn't get any help from the wicket. It would have been better if there had been a better wicket."
According to Taskin, a draw is the most possible result from where things stand right now. But he apparently learned his lesson on how to bowl in such wickets in future.
"The match is most likely to be drawn. But since it's cricket, anything can happen at any time. If we play on such a wicket in the second Test, we have to be tighter, try to block more runs," he added.