West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels plays a hook during his unbeaten 109 on the second day of the second Test against Bangladesh at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday. Photo: Firoz Ahmed
Compared to the first day's drama courtesy of Bangladesh's early collapse and then debutant Abul Hasan's record hundred, the second day was a dull affair. Marlon Samuels hit his fifth Test century, and with Darren Bravo batted cautiously and purposefully during their unbeaten third-wicket stand to put West Indies in a comfortable position at the end of the second day's play at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
Earlier, the focus was on the two overnight batsmen Mahmudullah Riyad and Abul Hasan in the morning. After the glories of the first day many were hoping for something special on the second day too, namely a hundred by Riyad who was on 72 overnight. It would have been a prefect boost for the hosts after the way the stylish right-hander composed his innings and gave Hasan brilliant support to enter the history books, but the Bangladesh innings survived for only for 5.1 overs in the morning before being bundled out for 387 after resuming the day on 365-8.
The fantastic ninth wicket partnership ended on 184, the third highest ever for the ninth wicket and fifth highest for Bangladesh, as the classy Riyad was able to add only four to his overnight score before a checked drive was caught by the bowler, Darren Sammy.
Hasan followed his partner quickly but before that the 20-year old boy went past Reggie Duff for the highest individual innings by a debutant No. 10 batsman as he added 13 more to his overnight 100. Pacer Fidel Edwards had him fending a catch off his gloves to the slip cordon to finish with figures of 6 for 90, the third time he has done so in 55 Tests.
It was however a day for the visitors as they responded strongly to Bangladesh's respectable score, ending at 241 for two in 82 overs despite pacer Rubel Hossain and off-spinner Shohag Gazi removing openers Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell early to force West Indies to take lunch at 62 for 2.
It was a day of toil for the Bangladesh bowlers and even debutant pacer Abul Hasan had to bowl 14 overs without any success on a pitch that offered no assistance. They did not falter in their line and length but could not break the partnership between Samuels and Bravo, who added 198 in an unbeaten third wicket stand which gave the visitors a perfect platform to seize control of the match.
There was a lack of pace in the West Indies batting after the fall of the first two wickets as batting was not easy because of the slow nature of the pitch. Neither Samuels or Bravo played aggressively or went for their shots, although they are known as stroke-makers. Samuels remained not out on 109, his third century this year and fifth overall, while Bravo was not out on 85.
But the Bangladeshi bowlers deserve some praise because of the way they bowled in tough conditions and checked the two stroke-makers. However, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim may have been a little too defensive, which probably helped the two West Indian batsmen settle in the middle.
Rubel bowled brilliantly and produced some well-directed short balls, one of which hit Kieran Powell in the back of the head. Rubel and Hasan got some movement with the old ball but Samuels and Bravo never took any risks, although they were beaten on a few occasions. Shakib Al Hasan's bowling was much better than in the first Test and he bore the maximum workload, bowling 26 overs.
Tamim Iqbal's injury scare however added more woe to the Bangladesh tent as the left-hander left the field with an injured knee which he suffered while attempting a sliding stop.