Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah extended the good start by Shadman Islam on debut to lead Bangladesh to a solid 259-5 against the West Indies on the first day of the second Test on Friday.
With the pitch expected to deteriorate, this total already looked daunting for the West Indies given its vulnerability against quality spin.
Shadman, the opener, made a patient 76, then captain Shakib held the innings together and established Bangladesh’s dominance in an unbroken 69-run stand with Mahmudullah over the last 23 overs.
Shakib was 55 not out from 113 balls, and Mahmudullah 31 not out off 59. Both hit only one boundary.
“Our target was to build a big partnership which came through Shakib and Mahmudullah,” Shadman said. “Their partnership kept us in good state in the match. We will try to continue the domination over them.”
Shakib opted to bat first, as Bangladesh played without a frontline pacer for the first time.
On a pitch that had little to offer for the fast bowlers, the West Indies spinners bowled 63 overs.
“The pitch is better than the previous one (in Chittagong),” West Indies legspinner Devendra Bishoo said.
“At the end of the day, we should have taken two more wickets but 259-5 I think is an honest day’s work. We just have to take the two wickets early tomorrow and get into the tail.”
Offspinner Roston Chase had Soumya Sarkar caught by Shai Hope at slip for 19 to end a 42-run opening partnership.
Shadman and Mominul Haque looked untroubled until Haque was out to a loose delivery by fast bowler Kemar Roach on the stroke of lunch.
Haque, a centurion in the previous Test, made 29 off 46, hitting two boundaries.
Shadman then received support from Mohammad Mithun, and they combined for a 64-run stand for the third wicket.
Shadman brought up his fifty with a sweep past square leg for a boundary off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican. It took him 147 balls.
He and Mithun were out to Bishoo, who bowled Mithun on 29 and got Shamdan leg before wicket.
By the time Shadman was out, he had faced a national record of 199 deliveries on debut, eclipsing opener Javed Omar Belim’s record of 138 balls in 2001 against Zimbabwe.
Shadman’s 76 was no surprise. He made 73 against the West Indies for a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in a warmup game. In the last two months, he has two centuries and seven half-centuries in first-class cricket.
“There is little regret (of not getting a century) but hopefully I will not miss the chance next time,” Shadman said. “The experience of the practice match helped me lot. The good thing was that I could execute my plan well.”
Mushfiqur Rahim became the second Bangladeshi to pass 4,000 Test runs after Tamim Iqbal, but he was out soon after for 14 to fast bowler Shermon Lewis, who moved the ball admirably on the dry pitch to raise hope of clawing back Bangladesh.
But Shakib and Mahmudullah kept up Bangladesh’s patient momentum, as they seek out a series victory.