Opener Tamim Iqbal hit his 10th test century to help Bangladesh take control on Day 3 of the series-opening cricket test against Sri Lanka, reaching 318-3 on Tuesday.
Tamim made 133 off 217 before being retired hurt due to a muscle cramp, and Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das put on a 98-run unbroken stand to keep Bangladesh in a commanding position.
Liton was batting on 54 with Mushfiqur on 53 at stumps as Bangladesh cut the first innings deficit to 79 runs.
Sri Lanka was bowled out for 397 in the first innings, with Angelo Mathews scoring 199.
Tamim, who recorded 15 fours, aggressively went after the Sri Lankan bowlers after Bangladesh resumed on 76-0, hitting Vishwa Fernando for consecutive boundaries in the first two balls he faced.
Fernando, who was hit on the helmet during Sri Lanka’s innings, went for a medical checkup after bowling four overs in the morning.
He was later ruled out of the match and Kasun Rajitha replaced him as a concussion sub.
Tamim raised his 32nd test half-century off just 73 balls, cutting offspinner Ramesh Mendis for a boundary past point.
Mahmudul was restrained but never hesitated to punish the loose deliveries.
He reached his half-century from 112 deliveries, flicking paceman Asitha Fernando (1-55) through mid-wicket. Mahmudul was on 51 when he got a reprieve in Asitha Fernando’s next over, with Lasith Embuldeniya dropping a catch at fine-leg.
But Mahmudul (58) couldn’t survive long, hitting a delivery of Asitha that went down the leg-side to give the visitors their first breakthrough.
Tamim, however, continued in attack mode and brought up a century off 162 balls, flicking Asitha for a single through mid-wicket.
Rajitha (2-17) then troubled Bangladesh for a brief period and got the reward, dismissing Najmul Hossain (1) and captain Mominul Haque (2), leaving Bangladesh at 184-3.
Mominul has produced five straight single-digit figures and 10 in the last 13 innings.
Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim helped Bangladesh regain the control despite losing three wickets for 22 runs.
But Sri Lanka could have removed Tamim for 114 had Dhananajaya de Silva not dropped him at slip after Tamim went for an expensive drive.
Tamim retired hurt on 133 after suffering from a muscle cramp but Liton and Mushfiqur kept the side going, frustrating the Sri Lanka bowlers further.
Liton in fact played the role of Tamim, going after the visiting bowlers in aggressive fashion while Mushfiqur was largely watchful.
The contrasting batting approach served the team well and put Bangladesh in strong position.