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Tharanga ton puts Sri Lanka in control

Press Association logoPress Association 10/03/2017

Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga hit a century as the hosts closed in on victory on day four of the first Test against Bangladesh in Galle.

The home side had dismissed the Tigers for 312 on day three to secure a 182-run first-innings lead, and they extended their advantage to 456 before declaring on 6-274.

Bangladesh reached 67 without loss before bad light ended play, leaving them needing another 390 runs for an improbable victory. No team has ever successfully chased a three-figure score in the fourth innings at Galle.

With rain forecast for Saturday, the weather may well see the visitors escape with a draw.

Opener Tharanga struck 115 from 171 deliveries as the 32-year-old registered a third Test ton and Dinesh Chandimal also weighed in with an unbeaten 50 as the game drifted away from the tourists.

Dimuth Karunaratne fell to Taskin Ahmed for 32 in the morning session and Kusal Mendis became Shakib Al Hasan's first victim on 19, but Tharanga and Chandimal shared a 64-run stand for the third wicket.

Tharanga was bowled by spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz after hitting 11 fours and two sixes, and Asela Gunaratne was cleaned up by Shakib in the next over.

Niroshan Dickwella also fell cheaply - caught behind off Mehedi - but Dilruwan Perera hit a quickfire 33 to set up the declaration.

Tamim Iqbal knuckled down to grind out 13 from 44 deliveries before stumps, but opening partner Soumya Sarkar threw caution to the wind in thrashing 53 from 47 balls, including six fours and a six off Rangana Herath.

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