Mominul Haque, the little master of Bangladesh rose on the occasion with his consecutive century helping the Tigers salvage a admirable draw against Sri Lanka in the final day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong on Sunday.
Bangladesh resumed the final day on 81 for three requiring further 119 to avoid the innings defeat. Mominul chipped in 105 following his 176 in the first innings driving Bangladesh to safety. Wicketkeeper Liton Kumar Das was also there, amending his first innings failure of scoring a naught with a smart 94.
Bangladesh scored 307 for five when Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal offered the draw. The hosts were leading by 107 runs with five wickets in hand.
The 180-run fourth wicket stand between Mominul Haque and Liton Das helped Bangladesh secure the draw. Mominul enjoyed the best time of career to become the first Bangladesh batsman to hit two centuries in one Test and took his match aggregate to 281 runs the highest by any Bangladeshi batsman in the same Test. Mominul and Liton handled the match situation perfectly, not attacking but just batting securely and competently. Mominul had some nervy moments early in the day, but he hit a handsome six off Herath in the fifth over of the morning, and was more or less at ease after that - the only exception being when he ducked into a Lahiru Kumara short ball midway through the session and required brief medical attention.
However, Sri Lanka had their chances to add the pressure again. Batting on 71 just after lunch, Mominul’s edge on a Herath delivery was missed by the wicketkeeper Dickwella.
Liton was only to blame himself as he tried some heroics to earn his first Test century with a six off Rangana Herath but Dilruwan Perera ran back from mid-off and grabbed a tough catch to keep Liton ruing.
Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain stood together for 18 further overs scoring 28 and 8 before Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal agreed to settle for the draw, with 17 overs remaining in the day.
Mominul Haque was duly adjudged as the man of the match.
With the first Test drawn and the series level at 0-0 all the eyes will be on the second and last Test starting on February 8 at Dhaka.