Offspinner Nayeem Hasan claimed a career-best 6-105 and denied Angelo Mathews a double century by one run before Bangladesh looked to respond against Sri Lanka on Day 2 of the first test on Monday.
Sri Lanka was bowled out for 397 with Mathews the last batter out for 199. Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudul Hasan then batted fluently to end the day on 79 for no loss.
Tamim was batting on 35 with Mahmudul on 31 as Bangladesh trails by 321 runs.
Before being the 12th batter to finish with 199 in the test history, Mathews led the Sri Lankan attack astutely against Bangladeshi spinners, who took all 10 wickets with varied pace.
“Obviously it would have been nice to get that one run but you have to take what God gives you,” Mathews said. “I am thankful that I was able to play a good knock. Hopefully it will help us win the game.”
Left-arm spinners Shakib Al Hasan finished 3-60 and Taijul Islam picked up 1-107.
The Sri Lankans resumed at 258-4 and dominated the morning session with Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal (66) extending their fifth-wicket partnership to 136 before Nayeem struck twice within five deliveries just before lunch.
“I got two wickets yesterday but I couldn’t bowl well,” Nayeem said. “I talked to Shakib (Al Hasan) yesterday night, he gave me some advice. That worked well for me.”
Chandimal appeared shaky initially but found his rhythm, hitting a six off Taijul Islam. He then attempted a reverse sweep to Nayeem, missed and was adjudged lbw in the third-to-last over of the session. He reviewed the decision but the TV officials upheld the umpire’s verdict.
Four balls later, Nayeem bowled Niroshan Dickwella (3) with a quicker delivery that went straight on to crash into his stumps.
Mathews reached his 150 off 293, flicking Nayeem to deep mid-wicket for a single as Sri Lanka pressed for quick runs again.
But Shakib got into act with a double strike in consecutive deliveries, dismissing Ramesh Mendis (1) and Lasith Embuldaniya for a duck.
With Bangladesh needing two wickets to wrap the innings, Mathews looked doubtful to complete his double century. However he got the support from Vishwa Fernando, who later was hit on his helmet by a bouncer from pacer Shoriful Islam.
Nayeem then completed his third five-for by removing Asitha Fernando (1) after he replaced Vishwa, who went to the dressing room for treatment.
Mathews was eight runs away from his 200 when Vishwa returned but fell just short when Nayeem had him caught by Shakib.