Kandy, April 21 (IANS) Bangladesh batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto batted almost the entire day, scoring a patient 126 as the visitors ended Day 1 of the opening Test against Sri Lanka comfortably placed on 302 for 2, at the Pallekele Stadium on Wednesday.
It was Najmul’s maiden century in 12 Tests and he looked solid in defence while facing 288 balls for his unbeaten knock.
Tamim Iqbal too turned the clock back with a 101-ball 90 earlier in the day, as he along with Najmul added 144 runs before the former was beaten by extra bounce from left-arm medium pacer Vishwa Fernano. Tamim ended up steering the ball into the hands of the lone slip fielder, Lahiru Thirimanne.
Contrary to expectation, the pith offered little to the pace bowlers and Bangladesh capitalised on the conditions to set themselves on the path to a big total.
Earlier, Bangladesh opted to bat after winning the toss. Opener Saif Hasan, Taskin Ahmed and Ebadat Hossain made their way back into the side. But Saif failed to grab the opportunity as he went for a duck in the second over.
Following the early setback, Tamim batted with ease with Shanto for company, and the duo consolidated Bangladesh’s position with a 144-run stand.
Unnerved by Tamim’s dismissal on 90, Shanto made another vital partnership with skipper Mominul Haque (64*), which took the home team’s total beyond the 300-run mark.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 302 for 2 in 90 overs (Shanto 126*, Tamim 90, Mominul 64*; Vishwa 2/61).