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Sri Lanka edge towards draw against Bangladesh on final day

Bangladesh's Taijul Islam celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis. ©AFP

Chittagong (Bangladesh) (AFP) - Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella put on 44 runs in a vital seventh-wicket stand as Sri Lanka edged closer to safety in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Thursday. 

The visitors reached 205-6 in their second innings by tea on the fifth day, extending their lead to 137 with four wickets in hand and only a session to play. 

Left-arm spin duo Taijul Islam and Shakib Al Hasan had given Bangladesh hope with early strikes before Chandimal and Dickwella -- on 14 and 32 not out -- thwarted the home side. 

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne made 52 off 138 balls before he gave a catch to his counterpart Mominul Haque at midwicket off Taijul.

Shakib soon had Dhananjaya de Silva out for 33 off 60 balls as Mushfiqur Rahim took the catch, also at midwicket, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 161-6 with a lead of only 93.

Dickwella swept the next ball high but Taijul could only manage to get a finger on it at square leg.After the scare, he and Chandimal then dug in at the crease. 

Taijul, who claimed 4-64 so far, struck twice in the morning session after Sri Lanka started aggressively, resuming on 39-2 trailing Bangladesh by 29 runs. 

Taijul bowled Kusal Mendis for 48 and then removed first-innings centurion Angelo Mathews for a duck caught and bowled. 

Bangladesh were one bowler short on the fifth day after paceman Shoriful Islam was ruled out of the two-Test series following a blow he received on his hand while batting on Wednesday.