CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, CMC – A composed, unbeaten half-century from captain Mushfiqur Rahim underpinned a measured Bangladesh effort as they kept West Indies busy in the field on the opening day of the first Test here yesterday.
The right-hander cracked 68 to fire his side up to 255 for four at the close, after they opted to bat first at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Opener Tamim Iqbal chipped in with 52 while Raqibul Hasan (41) and Shakib Al Hasan (40) played supporting roles, as the Tigers batted in partnerships to frustrate the Windies bowlers.
Off-spinner Marlon Samuels was the most successful West Indies bowler with two for 67.
The hosts lost Imrul Kayes for 10 inside the first hour when he nicked pacer Ravi Rampaul behind to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh at 26 for one.
However, Shahriar Nafees shaped up well in scoring an up tempo 21 from 18 balls but his innings was ended prematurely when he was struck in the face by a short ball from speedster Fidel Edwards.
He had stroked four boundaries and added 32 for the second wicket with Tamim when he missed a pull at a quick one and left the ground with blood dripping from his face at 58 for one.
Bangladesh recovered well from the setback, however, as Raqibul and Tamim then combined to add a further 52 for the second wicket.
While Tamim hit five fours in an innings spanning 141 balls and 170 minutes, Raqibul counted three fours off 92 balls in 193 minutes at the crease.
They pushed Bangladesh past the 100-run mark before Tamim gifted his wicket, sweeping at Samuels and top-edging to Kraigg Brathwaite at midwicket with the score on 110 for two.
Mushfiqur, who has so far faced 144 balls and hit five fours, then anchored two successive partnerships which were crucial in bolstering Bangladesh’s middle order.
He put on 49 for the third wicket with Raqibul and before posting a crucial 79 for the fourth wicket with Shakib.
The right-handed Mushfiqur started slowly but announced his intentions with a superb back foot drive through point off Edwards and picked up his second boundary with a nicely timed on-drive off medium pacer Darren Sammy.
He lost Raqibul lbw to one angled in by Sammy but took fresh guard in a productive stand with his former captain Shakib, who faced 83 balls in just over an hour-and-a-half at the crease and hit three fours.
Shakib was watchful but quick to pounce on anything loose, and collected successive pulled boundaries off poor deliveries from Sammy in the evening session.
They appeared poised to carry Bangladesh to the safety of the close when Shakib edged a cut at an innocuous delivery from Samuels and was caught at the wicket.
BANGLADESH 1st innings
Tamim Iqbal c Brathwaite b Samuels 52
Imrul Kayes c wkp Baugh b Rampaul 10
Shahriar Nafees ret. hurt 21
Raqibul Hasan lbw b Sammy 41
*+Mushfiqur Rahim not out 68
Shakib Al Hasan c wkp Baugh b Samuels 40
Naeem Islam not out 8
Extras (b8, lb5, nb2) 15
TOTAL (4 wkts, 91 overs) 255
To bat: Nasir Hossain, Elias Sunny, Rubel Hossain, Shahadat Hossain.
Fall of wickets: 1-26 (Imrul Kayes), 1-58* (Shahriar Nafees, ret. hurt 19.5 ov), 2-110 (Tamim Iqbal), 3-159 (Raqibul Hasan), 4-238 (Shakib Al Hasan)
Bowling: Edwards 13-1-47-0, Rampaul 19-6-30-1, Sammy 18-6-43-1, Samuels 22-2-67-2, Bishoo 19-2-55-0
WEST INDIES – *D Sammy, L Simmons, K Edwards, K Brathwaite, D Bravo, M Samuels, S Chanderpaul, +C Baugh, R Rampaul, F Edwards, D Bishoo.
Umpires: K Dharmasena, N Llong; TV – Enamul Haque.