Mirpur: Stumps were drawn at Mirpur on day three of the first Test between Bangladesh and West Indies with the match evenly poised. In reply to West Indies’ mammoth total of 527 for 4, Bangladesh started the day on 164 for 3 and finished at 455 for 6 trailing by 72 runs.
For Bangladesh, Nasir Hussain (33) and Mahmudullah (42) were the not-out batsmen at stumps, but the day belonged to allrounder Naeem Islam who scored his maiden Test hundred playing out two whole sessions. The overnight batsmen, Shakib Al Hasan and Naeem, started day three cautiously but after the first hour’s play, Shakib changed gears by launching Sunil Narine for a four and six in a single over. He raced to 89 in no time but gifted his wicket to Ravi Rampaul, popping a straight forward catch to substitute fielder Assad Fudadin. Naeem and Shakib stitched together a partnership of 167, a record fourth-wicket stand for Bangladesh in Tests. When Shakib was in the middle, Naeem played second fiddle giving the strike to his more experienced partner.
West Indies bowlers struggled to get anything out of the lifeless pitch with Veerasammy Permaul and Rampaul bowling the major chunk of the overs. Mushfiqur Rahim, who came in after the fall of Shakib, also started off aggressively cracking boundaries on either side of the wicket. He drove the length balls with confidence and flicked the leg-side deliveries with good timing. Naeem, at the other end, slowly inched towards the three-figure mark and had a few heart-in-the-mouth moments before getting to the milestone with a boundary towards fine leg.
Immediately after tea, Darren Sammy got the breakthrough in the form of Naeem, who went after a short of length off-side delivery edging the ball to keeper Denesh Ramdin for 108. Five overs later, Mushfiqur walked back to the pavilion for a 97-ball 43. The Bangladesh captain, who was coming down the track using his feet to the spinners more often than not, failed to judge a flighted delivery from the left-arm spinner Permaul.
West Indies seemed to be clawing back late in the day with two quick wickets but another all-round duo of talented Nasir Hussain and Mahmudullah ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets as they took their team past the 400-run mark. Nasir and Mahmudullah stitched together the third 50-run partnership of the Bangladesh innings as they played out the day.