Bangladesh underlined their status as favourites to win the second Test against West Indies, reducing the visitors to 75-5 at stumps on the second day after putting up a mammoth 508 runs on board in their first innings in Dhaka on Saturday.
Bangladesh spinners took a firm grip on the game after Mahmudullah produced a batting masterclass by hitting his career best 136 off 242 balls – his third century in Test career and second in three weeks at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Sakib al Hasan then justified his decision of going into the match with four spinners and without a frontline seamer, bowling his West Indies counterpart Kraigg Brathwaite in the very first over to trigger a collapse.
Sakib and Mehedi Hasan shared five wickets between them to help Bangladesh reduce West Indies to 29-5 before Shimron Hetmyer (32 not out) and Shane Dowrich (17 not out) stemmed the rot.
West Indies still trail Bangladesh by 433 runs in the first innings and must bat extraordinarily if they are to avoid the follow-on on the third day and an innings defeat.
The ball was already keeping low and it was evident in the manner of dismissals of all West
Indies batsmen on the second day.
All five West Indies batsmen were clean bowled – only the third instance of it happening in Test history and first time by spinners as Mehedi finished with 3-36 and Sakib claimed 2-15.
The first session of the day yielded 128 runs for Bangladesh in 25 overs before Mahmudullah moved into slow gear in the second session in pursuit of a rare Test century for him.
Sakib showed positive intent by smashing Roston Chase for three consecutive fours in only the fourth over of the day after hitting just one boundary in his overnight unbeaten 55.
The southpaw looked set for a century but the over aggression in the morning brought his demise as the left-hander departed for 80 off 139 balls, giving a catch to Shai Hope at gully off Kemar Roach.
It ended his 111-run stand with Mahmudullah but Liton Das maintained the pressure, racing to his fourth Test fifty off 50 balls with a six and four in the same over of Chase.
He missed a chance to prolong his innings and give his stop-start Test career a serious boost by trying to play a reverse sweep off Brathwaite after the lunch break.
Liton missed the line of the ball completely and was bowled for 54 runs after putting 92-run with Mahmudullah for the seventh wicket.
Mehedi (18) was unable to survive for long but Taijul Islam again showed that he has the potential to become a bowling all-rounder by hitting 26 runs and forging 56-run with Mahmudullah for the ninth wicket.
Mahmudullah looked extremely cautious in the nervous nineties before a cut off chase for a point boundary brought his hundred.
He batted a few more overs with last man Nayeem Hasan to take Bangladesh past the 500-run mark – only the second time against West Indies.
Jomel Warrican bowled Mahmudullah to wrap up Bangladesh’s innings while Nayeem remained unbeaten on 12.
Nayeem’s brief effort earned Bangladesh a new record as this was the first time all 11 batsmen of Bangladesh reached double figure in a Test innings.
In Test cricket’s 143-year history it has happened only 14 times, which proved the value of Nayeem’s innings.
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