Stumps Bangladesh 105 for 4 (Rahim 27*, Mithun 6*, Gabriel 2-31) trail West Indies 409 all out (Da Silva 92, Bonner 90, Joseph 82, Jayed 4-75) by 304 runs
After having lost the ODI series 3-0, and chased much of the first Test before chasing down 395 on the final day in Chattogram, Kraigg Brathwaite and his West Indies team hold all the aces after the second day of the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka. It was made possible largely due to a new-ball burst by Shannon Gabriel, backed up by some imaginative captaincy from Brathwaite, after career-best knocks of 92 by Joshua Da Silva and 90 from Nkrumah Bonner, aided by an enterprising 82 by Alzarri Joseph helped the visitors stretch their overnight 223 for 5 to 409.
For Bangladesh, Abu Jayed picked up his third four-wicket haul to finish with 4 for 75, while Mehidy Hasan Miraz stayed tantalisingly poised on 99 Test wickets, after picking up the wicket of Bonner. At close of play, Mushfiqur Rahim had batted fluently to post 27, while Mohammed Mithun looked a bit more nervy in making 6 off 61 balls.
West Indies walked out after tea with the weight of runs on the scoreboard, and Gabriel helped drive the advantage further by dismissing Soumya Sarkar, caught chipping a straight ball delivered from round the wicket to Kyle Mayers at short mid-wicket for a fourth-ball duck in the first over. Off Gabriel’s next over, Najmul Hossain Shanto, who had earlier taken a firm blow on his right shoulder off the bat of Bonner while fielding at forward short leg, drove an overpitched delivery for four. Next ball, Gabriel pitched it up but offered some width, and Shanto slashed it to Bonner at gully to leave Bangladesh at 11 for 2, the two wickets having come in the space of nine deliveries.
With Brathwaite shuffling Gabriel, Rahkeem Cornwall and Joseph with the new ball, Tamim Iqbal launched a counterattack in the company of his captain Mominul Haque, as the two senior batsmen added 58 off a little over 12 overs. With Haque’s discomfort against short balls an open secret, the West Indies seamers placed a leg gully, and two men out in the deep for the miscued hook, but both Iqbal and Haque handled the fast bowlers well. Iqbal took a special liking to Joseph, who strayed on to the pads far too often, and both also used the upper cut over the slips cordon to good effect, when it seemed like the game was just beginning to drift towards Bangladesh.
That’s when Cornwall was brought back on by Brathwaite, and Haque ended up playing a cut to one that was too close to his body, and was snapped up by Da Silva for 21. Iqbal’s thrilling 44 off 52 balls, with six fours and a six, came to an end off Joseph, when he failed to keep a flick down and Shayne Moseley plucked an easy catch at short mid-wicket. At 71 for 4, Bangladesh had again lost two quick wickets inside six balls. Rahim and Mithun saw out the rest of the evening session – Mithun was incorrectly given out caught behind down the leg side against Joseph when he hadn’t even got off the mark, but the decision was overturned on review since the ball had come off his thigh — and the only point of criticism one could have for Brathwaite’s captaincy was that his most successful bowler from the first Test, left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, only came on to bowl in the 30th over, well after the two right-handers had come to the crease.
The theme of West Indies domination on the day was set from the outset, with Jayed overpitching the first delivery of the day down the pads for Bonner, who would whip it away through mid-wicket for three. In the same over, Bangladesh used up one review for a leg-before appeal where the ball seemed to be heading down leg, and off the next delivery, Da Silva pumped a short ball through point for the first boundary of the day.
Jayed was guilty of bowling either side of the wicket, while the spinners were frequently making errors in length, allowing Bonner and Da Silva to milk them for singles, and the latter to pick up the odd boundary. Bonner, who had flicked one overpitched Jayed ball through mid-wicket for his first boundary of the morning, eventually fell to Miraz, bowling from round the wicket, nicking one to Mithun at leg slip. He could scarcely believe his luck, having missed out on a maiden Test ton when in sight of it in successive innings in his first two Tests.
If Bonner and Da Silva had ensured that there were no nerves in the way the hosts began, their advantage was driven further in the course of the Joseph-Da Silva partnership. Da Silva defended with ease, and reverse-swept the spinners to throw them off their length from time to time, while Joseph survived an early streaky boundary to play an attacking innings. He used his reach to good effect against the spinners, thrashing four of his five sixes through the deep mid-wicket region against them.
The Da Silva-Joseph partnership was broken by Islam, who got a straighter one to sneak through Da Silva’s defence when on 90. With the lower order for company and 400 in sight, Joseph decided to take on Jayed’s short ball, hitting him for six and four to deep square leg and fine leg, respectively. Off the very next ball, he would edge through to Liton Das, depriving him of a chance of matching Bonner and Da Silva by going past his career-best of 86. The end was quick for West Indies, with Jayed going on to pick his third four-wicket haul, and Islam also picking up four for his troubles.
While the pitch still looks like a good one to bat on, Bangladesh have a mountain to climb if they have to draw level in the two-Test series, with the hosts still needing another 105 to avoid the follow-on.