Score

Shakib, Mahmudullah start crucial second day morning

Brief Score Card: At Stumps, Day One
Bangladesh 259/5 ( Shadman Islam 76, Shakib Al Hasan 55*, Mahmudullah Riyad 31*, Mominul Haque 29, Mohammad Mithun 29, Soumya Sarkar 19, Mushfiqur Rahim 14, D Bishoo 2/69 )

Shakib-Mahmudullah hang balance Bangladesh's innings in first day 03

Quality half century by impressive debutant Shadman and a steady unbeaten fifty by skipper Shakib placed Bangladesh marginally ahead at stumps on the first day of Dhaka Test. 259/5 may not sound a huge score. But with dry wicket of uneven bounce already gripping and turning and two of five all time great Bangladeshi batsmen Shakib and Mahmudullah anchoring the innings with an unbeaten 69 for the sixth wicket Bangladesh entered the safe zone . Another 100 from here would put them on total command.

With this pair playing sensibly and and Liton Das and Mehedi Hasan Miraz still to come, even 400 runs in the first innings is also not impossible. If that happens, all spin attack of Bangladesh may create huge issues for the West batsmen saving the test and avoiding Banglawash.

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Bangladesh opted for all spin attack bringing in Liton Das and additional top order batsman in place of Mustafizur and providing debut to teenager Shadman Islam replacing Imrul Kayes. Considering the sate of the wicket the decision looked perfect as on such a wicket four quality front line spinners and if required Mahmudullah as fifth option are good enough for taking 20 West Indian wickets.

Long in the past Nawab Of Pataudi Mahsoor Ali Khan did this when India appeared with four top spinners at that time Earpli Prassana, Bishen Singh Bedi, Bhagawat Chandrashekhar and Venkataraghavan . Shakib did that showing his positive intent for winning the Test. You must make hay while the sun shines. You must put horses for the courses.

Bangladesh winning the toss and batting first looked very committed and exhibited strong will and determination. Every batsmen showed application and commitment. Particularly impressive was debutant Shadman. This quality youngster had been batting well in domestic circuit for a while . Looking like a shadow of great Tamim Iqbal he appeared to have matured head on young shoulder. His defense appeared impregnable and strokes were delectable . Soumya also looked a bit composed

The opening pair put on 42 runs before the characterstic Soumya driving to ball without going to the pitch of him caused his wicket to Chase caught in the slips . Mominul was looking sublime and the second wicket pair effectively neutralized the early wicket effect . Unfortunately at the stroke of the lunch a rare brain freeze of Mominul caused him his wicket . His innings of 29 just started blooming from the bud.

Watch and enjoy the live actions of day-2 here-

Again instead of sending Mushfique at number four Mithun was sent in to join steady and impressive Shadman . This young body appears to have great concentration , patience and temperament all essential element of a true opening batsman in test . The third wicket pair put on 64 before Mithun was castled by a typical dismissed of a leg spinner Bishoo. Shadman also did not last long trapped in front off a sharp turning Bishoo leg spin.

Bangladesh at 161/4 was not looking great . But with a deep set batting line up all was not lost yet. Shakib was looking great . Mushfiqur in his unaccustomed number was not looking at ease . Lewis produced a sharp in swinger breaking through his defense. Mushfiqur could score only 14 . Bangladesh was reduced to 190/5 . The captain and vice captain came together . They played some great innings together in the past.

The post tea session was crucial for the match as ball started turning and gripping. One wicket produce few and Bangladesh could be bundled out. Shakib and Mahmuduallh brought all the tricks out of their hats . The quality unbroken partnership of 69 took Bangladesh from a region of uncertainty to the zone of reasonable safety . At 259/5 Bangladesh looks good for another 100-150 runs.

Shakib is batting on 55 and Mahmudullah on 31. The first session of the second day will indicate which way the match would be heading. West Indies may struggle to cope with Shakib , Taijul , Nayeem and Miraz on a turning track if Bangladesh posts 350 plus in the first innings. Wicket will continue to deteriorate and this West Indians do not appear to have tendency to grind and graft.

This writer is particularly impressed with debutant Shadman Islam. His 76 scored in 199 deliveries over three hours had all hallmarks of a budding genius . He looked composed and unnerved as he went about his business. He knows where his stumps are while leaving deliveries. His choice of strokes appeared spot on and executions looked perfect. Left handers look elegant while driving through the covers and on driving . He did a few. At the wicket he looked like a shadow of great Tamim Iqbal. Although it is too early to conclude but we can have guarded optimism that possibly Bangladesh found a long time opening partner for Tamim in Test .

Mominul made a great start but he threw it away unnecessarily. The long hop of Roach he could easily let go with only a few balls remaining for the lunch. It was great watching two champions Shakib and Mahmudullah applying themselves to their task. Both curbed their natural instinct and played every ball to their merit. . The crucial partnership will make or break the cause of Bangladesh. Bangladesh must target 400-450 and play one innings only .

West Indies had their moments too. The first two sessions were shared with visitors taking two wickets in each session. But a high quality unbroken partnership between two faithful servants of Bangladesh cricket took the initiative from the visitors . Perhaps Brathwaite could have attacked a bit more after tea especially after Mushfiq was gone . West Indies has to restrict Bangladesh below 300 to have any opportunity in the Test. Batting third and fourth innings on this track would be extremely challenging.

-Saleque Sufi

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