Dimuth Karunaratne. © AFP

Dimuth Karunaratne’s century helped Sri Lanka extend the lead to 139 runs. For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahim shared six wickets between them to reduce the hosts to 268 for 7 at stumps. © AFP

Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan shared six wickets between them but Sri Lanka fought back through Dimuth Karunaratne’s battling century on Day 4 of the second Test in Colombo on Saturday (March 18).

Karunaratne held up one end while making 126 before Dilruwan Perera rode out 126 balls to help Sri Lanka reach 268 for 8 at stumps, extending their lead over the visiting side to 139 runs.

Perera received support from Rangana Herath (9 off 32 balls) and Suranga Lakmal (16 not out) as the home side were hoping to expand their lead to give their bowlers something to fight with.

Bangladesh struck in the day‘s second over through Mehedi Hasan, who spun one sharply to bowl Upul Tharanga for 26 after Sri Lanka resumed on 54 for no loss.

But Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis shared a partnership of 86 runs for the second wicket to help Sri Lanka wipe out their first innings deficit and put the team in a position to set up a good target for Bangladesh.

Mustafizur helped Bangladesh bounce back with quick strikes in his second spell as Mendis edged an angular ball outside off-stump to Mushfiqur Rahim, the wicketkeeper, for 36. Five overs later it was the turn of Dinesh Chandimal, the first-innings centurion, who played a loose drive to be caught behind for five.

Asela Gunaratne was adjudged leg-before for seven off Shakib without offering any shot before Mustafizur struck again to dismiss Dhananjaya de Silva a duck.

Niroshan Dickwella survived a close call for lbw but could not make use of his second chance giving Mushfiqur his fourth catch down the leg off Shakib to depart for five.

Karunaratne reached his fifth Test century with an edge off Mustafizur flying to the third man boundary but he fell in the final session edging Shakib to Soumya Sarkar at slip.

Perera batted with grit but should have been dismissed for four had umpire Aleem Dar not made an error of judgment with Bangladesh already exhausting their quota of reviews.

Taijul Islam removed Herath, who was equally stubborn but Bangladesh were yet to find an answer for Perera’s ultra-defensive batting.

Mustafizur claimed 3 for 52 for Bangladesh while Shakib finished the day with 3 for 61.