Tigers in another bind

1 week ago 34

Forgetting the equation of rescuing a draw in the two-match Test series after losing the first game, Bangladesh are now desperate to avoid defeat in the second game too, struggling on 105 for four in their first innings in reply to the West Indies' 409.

Mohammad Mithun (6*) and Mushfiqur Rahim (27*) brought some stability with a fifth-wicket stand but the pair will have a daunting task on the third day, with the hosts needing another 105 runs to avoid a follow-on.

Questions about ability to adapt to the longest version of the game by the Bangladesh batsmen were raised once again when they came out to bat with 37 overs to negotiate in the final session.

It was neither the pitch, nor any exceptional bowling. Instead, the batsmen were guilty of playing too many shots that proved costly.

Soumya Sarkar opened the innings but failed to open his account as the left-hander gifted a simple catch to short mid-wicket to an incoming Shanon Gabriel delivery in the very first over of the innings.

It was a 12th consecutive innings where the Tigers' openers were unable to go past the fifty mark. In fact, it was the fourth time in their last 12 innings that Bangladesh lost their first wicket for less than ten runs.

Nazmul Hossain was the next to depart in Gabriel's next over.

Despite playing a wonderful straight drive off the previous ball, the left-hander fell into Gabriel's trap outside off.

Nazmul couldn't resist going for another drive and was caught at gully after playing away from his body.

At the other end, the experienced Tamim Iqbal  tried to remain positive and continued to play his strokes.

He struck six fours and a six, with skipper Mominul Haque at the other end trying to rebuild the innings.

It seemed the hosts might go on to recover from the early damage after the pair added 58 for the third wicket.

But the visitors struck back again as off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall dismissed Mominul for 21 with some extra bounce.

The left-hander was caught behind trying to play a shot that could have been left.

On 44, Tamim was required to stay till the end but soon handed a simple catch at short mid-wicket off Alzarri Joseph and Bangladesh were left on 71 for four.

Earlier, the West Indies resumed the second day on 223 for 5 with Nkrumah Bonner on 74 and Joshua Da Silva on 22. The pair picked up where they left off on the first day.

Both batters looked positive and utilised scoring opportunities after some indisciplined bowling from the hosts.

Bonner, who was eyeing a maiden Test hundred, departed after Mehedi Hasan Miraz managed to provide the breakthrough and break the 88-run sixth-wicket stand.

The right-hander was caught at leg-slip on ninety but Joshua then continued to re-build another big partnership with Alzarri Joesph for the seventh wicket.

The pair continued to frustrate the hosts with Joseph starting to score runs quickly and dispatching the Bangladeshi bowlers all over the ground. The pair added 118 for the seventh wicket.

Da Silva registered his second fifty and was also eyeing a maiden ton but he too departed in the nineties.

Taijul's delivery went straight through Silva's defense and struck timber with him just eight runs short of his century.

Pacer Abu Jayed then removed Jospeh after he had made a career-best 82 but he made sure the West Indies went past the 400-run mark in their first innings.

The lone specialist pacer for the Tigers, Jayed, then joined Taijul as the pair went on to remove the Windies lower order to end with up four wickets each.

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