Sri Lanka sets massive target as de silva and mendis shine.

In an exceptional display of batting prowess, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kamindu Mendis both notched up their second centuries of the match, propelling Sri Lanka to establish a daunting 511-run target for Bangladesh in the first Test on Sunday.

The visiting team concluded their second innings at 418, with Mendis contributing a remarkable 164 runs alongside his earlier 102, while De Silva, who also notched a century in the first innings, added another impressive 108 to his tally.

The Sri Lankan pace attack wasted no time in their victory push, immediately putting Bangladesh on the back foot at 47-5 by stumps, leaving the hosts with a mammoth requirement of 464 runs for an improbable win.

Vishwa Fernando led the charge with figures of 3-13, complemented by Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara, each claiming a wicket, as Mahmudul Hasan (0), Najmul Hossain Shanto (6), Zakir Hasan (19), Shahadat Hossain (0), and Liton Das (0) all succumbed to the pressure.

“Of course, it’s a bad thing, because we’re all doing bad together,” lamented Mehidy Hasan Miraz regarding Bangladesh’s faltering batting performance. “Everyone has to play well in Test cricket; otherwise, it will be difficult.”

Bangladesh’s struggle with the bat followed the dominant display by de Silva and Mendis, who scripted history by becoming only the third pair in Test cricket to score centuries in both innings. The last instance of such a feat occurred in 2014 when Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali achieved it against Australia.

Acknowledging the exceptional talent and determination of the players, Sri Lanka’s batting coach Thilina Kandamby expressed his elation: “I’m very happy…. the main reason is the talent and determination these players possess.”

Despite Mehidy Hasan’s valiant effort, finishing with figures of 4-74 for Bangladesh, the partnership between de Silva and Mendis endured, with Mendis reaching his century off 171 balls.

In a flurry of runs, Mendis reached his 150, aided by a barrage of sixes off Taijul Islam. However, Sri Lanka’s innings concluded as Taijul eventually dismissed Mendis.

With a lead surpassing 500 runs, Sri Lanka now holds a commanding position. Notably, they have never lost a Test series to Bangladesh. The stage is set for the second and final match of the series in Chittagong, scheduled to commence on March 30.