Bangladesh spent a refreshingly solid day with the bat, ending the first day on 259 for 5 against West Indies on a Shere Bangla National Stadium pitch that has already started to turn and break. But the visitors couldn’t really break the home side’s doggedness – even with spin as debutant Shadman Islam spent more than three hours at the crease for his 76 while Shakib Al Hasan bookended the day with an unbeaten 55.
Shakib and Mahmudullah batted out the final 22.3 overs of the day, adding 69 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand. Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 31 off 59 balls with one four; Shakib too struck just the one boundary in his 113-ball stay. The pair went through a 19-over phase that didn’t have a single boundary. It was slow for sure, but it effectively blunted the West Indian attack.
Bangladesh’s batting throughout the day was pleasantly steady, particularly Shadman who became the eighth Test debutant for Bangladesh this year. He struck six fours in his 199-ball innings, spanning three mid-sized partnerships with Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque and Mohammad Mithun.
Bangladesh lost two wickets in each in the day’s first two sessions. They went to lunch on 87 for 2 though they could have done with Mominul’s ill-timed dismissal. Off the penultimate ball of the first session, Mominul pulled a rank half-tracker from Kemar Roach into mid-on’s lap.
He was hitherto involved in a 45-run stand with Shadman, who had earlier put on a 42-run opening stand with Soumya Sarkar. Shadman was steady throughout, hitting three fours on either side of the lunch break. His first runs came via an off-drive struck beautifully, before he crunched two fours through point and cover.
After lunch, Shadman and Mithun batted with more patience. Shadman reached his fifty with a boundary off Jomel Warrican before Devendra Bishoo first ended the 64-run stand by clean bowling Mithun, who has now got out to the legspinner thrice in as many innings. Bishoo then had Shadman lbw with a delivery that went on straight with the round-the-wicket angle, ending an impressive first Test innings.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s trouble with deliveries angled into his stumps from outside off-stump continued when Shermon Lewis bowled him with that exact delivery. But he was at the crease for long enough to complete his 4,000 Test runs, when he made cut a Bishoo legbreak for his eighth run.