GALLE — Captain Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh player to record a Test double-century as the tourists posted their highest-ever score on day four against Sri Lanka in Galle today.
Mohammad Ashraful had looked on course to reach the landmark as he resumed on 189 not out, but he was only able to add one more to his total before perishing, leaving Mushfiqur to go on and claim the honour.
The skipper – who was 152 not out overnight – hit exactly 200 before being trapped lbw by Nuwan Kulasekara, while Nasir Hossain notched his maiden century as the Tigers were eventually dismissed for 638 all out.
But while their record-breaking efforts secured them a first-innings lead of 68, any hopes they might have held of making a push for victory were extinguished as Sri Lanka cruised to 116-1 by the close with Tillakaratne Dilshan (63 not out) and Kumar Sangakkara (49 not out) well set.
After a sluggish start to the day, Ashraful was dismissed after charging Rangana Herath and edging to Angelo Mathews at slip, but Mushfiqur found another willing ally in Hossain who accumulated his runs rapidly from the off.
Having failed to score off his final six deliveries before lunch Mushfiqur headed to the interval on 198, but he did not have to wait much longer on the resumption with a couple of quick singles securing his place in the history books.
He was to last only another three deliveries before being trapped by Kulasekara but, after Sohag Gazi had chipped in with a quick-fire 21, Hossain was also raising his bat after reaching three figures for the first time off 147 balls.
He too made no further progress before chipping Dilshan to mid-wicket and the part-time spinner also picked up Elias Sunny for a duck, before Shaminda Eranga wrapped up the innings by bowling Shahadat Hossain.
Home opener Dimuth Karunaratne failed to cash in on the cheap runs on offer, hooking Shahadat to the catcher at fine-leg to go for three, but thereafter normal service was resumed.
Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara added 99 runs without further loss before stumps and the bat-dominated contest now looks certain to finish in a draw. (SKY)