Mushfiqur, Liton stand tall after disastrous start


Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das constructed one of the best partnerships in Bangladesh’s Test history in the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday.

They put up an unbeaten 253-run stand in the sixth-wicket partnership, and along the way, both of them hit a century each. It is now the highest sixth-wicket stand for Bangladesh in Tests.

The duo batted for almost the entire day after losing five-wicket wickets inside the first hour of the day. They stonewalled everything thrown at them by the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

While Mushfiqur was almost flawless in his second ton on the row, Liton skied a ball once which landed on the ground after a Sri Lankan fielder failed to pick that. Apart from that, it was a great knock by the right-handed wicketkeeper-batter.

It was also the highest sixth-wicket stand in history for any team after losing five wickets under 25 runs. The previous highest was 86 scored by Wallis Mathias and Shujauddin Butt of Pakistan against West Indies in 1959 at the then Dhaka Stadium.

“It is one of the best partnerships I have seen as a coach in Tests,” Russell Domingo, the head coach of Bangladesh said at the end of the day. “We were 24 for five. Under a lot of pressure. It was an amazing effort by those two batters. Obviously, we didn’t start well this morning. Test cricket is hard but those guys showed amazing skill and character to get us in this good position.”

In the first match of the series, Mushfiqur hit a ton and Liton fell short of 12 runs from a ton. These two batters proved that they are going through a golden patch now.

Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first. But the openers failed to produce a solid start. Even the next three batters were also unable to stop Sri Lanka from having an early breakthrough.

Both the openers- Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Tamim Iqbal— suffered a duck each. Shakib Al Hasan came to bat at number six and suffered a golden duck. The other two batters— Mominul Haque and Najmul Hossain Shanto— contributed 9 and 8 respectively to put the team into further trouble.

Kasun Rajitha, the right-arm pacer, uprooted the stumps of Mahmudul in the very first over. In the next over, Asitha Fernando removed Tamim for a duck, and in the seventh over, Rajitha removed Najmul and Shakib off two consecutive deliveries.

“All our focus is in the first session. We know that we are two wickets away from being in a tricky position again. The average score here in the first innings here is 314. If these two can get through the first hour tomorrow, it puts us in a really good position,” the Bangladesh coach said, expressing his hope on the next day of the game.

The first Test of the series ended up in a draw. Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said they are confident to wrap up the series winning this match in Dhaka.

This series is a part of the ongoing cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. Bangladesh played seven matches in this event so far and won only a match against New Zealand early this year.

Source: United News of Bangladesh