Late strikes put Lanka in command

Maiden centuries by Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes took Bangladesh past the follow-on mark but late strikes from the spinners put Sri Lanka in the driving seat in the second and final Test in Chittagong on Thursday.

Bangladesh, needing victory to level the series, reached 409 for eight wickets in their first innings at stumps on the third day, still trailing the visitors by 178 runs. Mahmudullah (30) and Al-Amin Hossain (three) remain at the crease for the hosts.

Resuming at 86 for one wicket, opener Shamsur (106) and number three Kayes (115) batted through the first session to launch a gritty reply from Bangladesh, who had been battered by a triple-century by Kumar Sangakkara.

The 25-year-old Shamsur, in his second Test, got to his hundred first with a boundary through cover off Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.

Kayes, 27, survived some nervous moments in the nineties before cutting paceman Suranga Lakmal to the point boundary to complete his century.

Kithuruwan Vithanage, at point, first dropped an easy catch off Ajantha Mendis with the left-hander on 95 and then gleefully accepted another later in the over, only to find out that the bowler had overstepped for a no-ball.

Both Shamsur and Kayes played casual shots to gift their wickets to Mendis after a 232-run partnership.

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