Bangladesh showed more conviction than many other times in the past to survive the opening day, taking an upper hand in the second Test against West Indies in Dhaka on Friday.
Debutant Shadman Islam and skipper Sakib al Hasan each hit a fifty as Bangladesh reached 259-5 at stumps on the first day, a score that any side would take on a track carefully designed to favour the spinners.
The hosts went into the game with four spinners and without a frontline seamer, an unprecedented move for them, which should clearly give an idea of how difficult the pitch could be for the batsmen with every passing day.
It made every run precious and put a great value to every wicket and Bangladesh realised it from the start of the game ever since Sakib won the toss.
West Indies claimed five wickets on the day but only one of them came in a bad shot which further demonstrated the strong determination of Bangladeshi batsmen.
Shadman was rewarded with 76 off 199 balls on his debut match while Sakib was uncharacteristically sedate on his way to unbeaten 55 off 113 balls.
Only 10 boundaries were struck in 90 overs, and six of them came from Shadman, who consumed more balls than any other debutant Bangladeshi opener.
Surprisingly, Sakib hit just one boundary in his 24th Test fifty to show the way for others.
He will resume the second day’s play with Mahmudullah, who showed equal restraint to stay unbeaten on 31 at close.
Leg spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed two wickets for West Indies, but the visitors lacked the kind of cutting edge that could put Bangladesh into some sort of trouble.
The Caribbean had to wait until 16th over of their innings for their first breakthrough when a ball of Roston Chase took a slight turn and bounced more than what was expected, taking the leading edge of Soumya Sarkar.
Soumya fell for 19 runs to end his 42-run opening stand with Shadman but Mominul ensured there was no damage in cluster unlike many other occasions in the past.
He looked sensible before playing perhaps the ugliest shot of the day that cost him his wicket just before the lunch break.
The left-hander attempted to hit Kemar Roach over the top but failed to clear mid-off fielder Chase after making 29 runs.
Bishoo bowled Mohammad Mithun for identical score to bring an end to an impressive stand of 64 runs between the right-hander and Shadman for the third wicket.
The leg spinner then dashed Shadman’s hopes of becoming only fourth Bangladeshi to score a century on debut by trapping him leg before.
Once Sherman Lewis bowled Mushfiqur Rahim for 14 Bangladesh feared it was the beginning of their end.
But Sakib and Mahmudullah had other idea as they survived the day through their dogging 69-run sixth wicket stand to take Bangladesh’s score to a desired level.
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