Bangladesh's batsmen staged a brave fightback against Sri Lanka, but still trail by 255 runs and face a probable innings defeat after finishing on 233 for 5 in their second innings when bad light stopped play on day three of the first test in Colombo on Wednesday.
Javed Omar, Bangladesh opener, lead the resistance with 62 as the visitors, who were bowled out for a measly 89 in the first innings, forced Sri Lanka's bowlers to work hard for their wickets on a dull pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.
Bangladesh started the day on 3 for 0 in their second innings facing a daunting task with 485 runs required to avert an innings defeat, and did well in the first two sessions when losing only Shahriar Nafees (38) during the morning and then Omar and Habibul Bashar (17) in the afternoon.
However Sri Lanka's spinners hit back in the evening session when part-timer Tillakaratne Dilshan put an end to Rajin Saleh's (51) four-hour struggle with a flighted delivery that was edged to slip.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful (37) self-destructed just minutes before stumps when he chipped an easy chance straight to Chaminda Vaas at long on off Muttiah Muralitharan.
When play was called off early due to bad light Shakib Al Hasan was four not out and wicket-keeper Khaled Mashud was yet to score.
Omar and Nafees started the fightback with a positive 86-run opening stand, which is a record for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka.
Muralitharan finally broke through shortly before lunch, holding on to a sharp return catch as Nafees used his feet and tried to loft straight down the ground.
Omar was solid in defence during his 118-ball rearguard action, and showed his keenness to score at every opportunity with three boundaries in one Vaas over soon after the start of play.
Tough middle order
After bringing up his eighth test 50, the right-hander was trapped LBW by a vicious reverse-swinging yorker from Lasith Malinga.
Vaas also got the old ball to reverse swing and successfully found the outside edge of Basher's bat with a full-length delivery that tempted him into a cover drive.
Sri Lanka then had to wait 35.2 overs for their next breakthrough as Saleh and Ashraful added 67 runs in a slow-scoring partnership, with the hosts growing increasingly frustrated, especially star spinner Muralitharan who was forced to work unusually hard for his wickets, finishing with 2 for 82 from 34 overs.
Bangladesh have lost all seven of their previous tests against Sri Lanka.