Colombo: Rangana Herath grabbed three wickets to put Sri Lanka in command of the second Test against Bangladesh on Monday as the tourists ended day three with a meager 52-run second innings lead with four wickets lost. The left-arm spinner dismissed Mohammad Ashraful (4), Jahurul Islam (48) and Mahmudullah (0) to finish with 3-45. He would have added two more but for missed catches from Nuwan Kulasekara and captain Angelo Mathews.
Herath also bagged five wickets in the first innings of the match and approaches his 200th test wicket mark. Bangladesh ended day three with 158 for four with Mominul Haque batting on 36 with captain Mushfiqur Rahim on seven. Sri Lanka was earlier dismissed for 346 with a 106-run first innings lead. Opener Tamim Iqbal and Islam gave Bangladesh a solid start sharing 91 runs for the first wicket. Iqbal made 59, his 12th test half-century including four fours and a six before edging seam bowler Shaminda Eranga to the stumps.
Bangladesh reached tea on 9 for one, comfortably placed with the deficit reduced to 13 and nine wickets in hand. After tea Herath bowled Ashraful out. A promising 47-run partnership for the third wicket followed between Islam and Haque but Herath took two wickets in successive balls with less than 10 overs for stumps. Islam batted patiently for his 170-ball 48 but was lured out by a Herath delivery and stumped by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal. Next ball Herath bowled Mahmudullah for a first-ball duck.
He produced two more opportunities as well when Haque drove staight to Kulasekara at mid-on who dropped an easy catch and Mathews grassed a sharp chance at slip off Rahim. Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara top scored with 139, his 33rd test century and a third straight one this series. After resuming the day on 294-6, Sri Lanka added just 52 runs for its last four wickets. Seamer Abul Hasan had Sangakkara caught behind for the morning's breakthrough, while offspinner Sohag Gazi (3-111) cleaned up the tail.
Sangakkara faced 289 deliveries, hit 11 boundaries and shared 195 runs for the fifth wicket with Chandimal, who completed his second test century (102) after Sri Lanka slumped to 69-4. Seamers Rubel Hossain, (2-45), Robiul Islam (2-52) and Hasan (2-80) contributed with the ball for Bangladesh. Both teams can claim the two-match series with a win in this test after the first match ended in a high scoring draw at Galle last week.