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Bangladesh spin coach Rangana Herath was optimistic that Shakib Al Hasan would swiftly regain his rhythm despite his lack of preparation as he had tested Covid positive. The ace all-rounder joined the team at the last moment after tested positive.
Shakib, according to the former Sri Lanka spinner, provides the team with much-needed balance. Shakib concluded with excellent figures of 1 for 27 in 19 overs.
The Southpaw was the most economical of the bowlers, had Dhananjaya de Silva caught at short leg for six before Angelo Mathews (114*) and Dinesh Chandimal (34*) took the visitors home to a strong finish.
"I was 100 per cent confident that he will deliver even without practice. We don't get too many players of his caliber. Even without much practice, he was on his mark with his first ball. It is very good for his confidence," Herath said in press conference.
''He (Shakib) bowled very well today, he was the most economical bowler. Shakib gives us balance when he is around. Otherwise, we need to find someone who can bat and bowl," he added.
Sri Lanka finished the day with a score of 258/4. Bangladesh's tenacious performance with the ball on Day 1 delighted Herath.
However, he emphasized that they must keep up the excellent work and aim to bowl the visitors out for less than 400 runs.
''Especially on the first day of a Test match, I am happy with how the bowlers did. Shakib and Taijul bowled well. Nayeem also took two wickets. He hasn't played much cricket in the last 18 months but he has been practicing a lot. In that case, I saw that he needed a bit of confidence, but when he got that wicket off the first ball, his confidence (was restored),”
''They are 258-4, so I am sure we need two quick wickets as soon as possible tomorrow morning. We want to keep them under 400 runs, so we have to get them bowled out for another 120-130 runs”