Bangladesh v WI, 1st Test, Chittagong, 1st day October 21, 2011

Bangladesh good, but could have been better

Bangladesh ended the first day on 255 for 4, a solid performance, but their position could have been so much better against a West Indies attack that flagged for periods in Chittagong. The inability to stay focused at crucial junctures - after a big appeal, at the fall of a batsman, celebrations - has often resulted in Bangladesh losing wickets from positions of strength in the past. The challenge of switching on and switching off has been a problem and once again the little distractions played a part in the dismissals of Bangladesh's batsmen.

For the best part of the first hour, Imrul Kayes had found the pace of Fidel Edwards and length of Ravi Rampaul manageable. In Rampaul's sixth over, Kayes ducked under a bouncer and then wafted needlessly at a delivery that was slightly wide outside off stump. He berated himself with a tap on the helmet. His concentration wasn't there, though, and Kayes edged the next ball, which was closer to him, to the wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh. By this time, it was clear that Tamim Iqbal was trying to bat long rather than unleash a flurry of shots. Shahriar Nafees did that instead, before he appeared unsettled by a confident lbw appeal against him.

In Edwards's fourth over, Nafees was caught on the crease by a delivery that straightened slightly but the umpire turned down the lbw appeal. In the fifth, having fended off a delivery that bounced awkwardly, Nafees tried to pull an accurate bouncer from Edwards. The ball slammed between his helmet's grille and peak, pushing the visor on to his nose and cutting it. Nafees went off the field, his injury coming soon after that lbw shout.

Tamim began to rebuild the innings and found an ally in Raqibul Hasan. They added 52, 29 of those in singles, and were in control of the situation. Tamim had reached his third half-century in four innings at this venue when a wild slog against offspinner Marlon Samuels resulted in a top edge that was caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at midwicket. Whether the distraction of reaching a half-century had played on Tamim's mind is debatable, but again a position of control was lost through a poor shot.

Tamim, however, did not regret playing the shot. "I don't have any regrets about the shot I got out to. I have scored plenty of runs with this shot. It is one of my favourite shots," he said. "I don't have an answer for this [why I got out after being set]. I try to stay in the middle as long possible and score runs. I have to work this out. I think I'm not at my best but I was satisfied with the way I batted today."

Raqibul did not buck the trend of giving it away. As tea approached, Raqibul had moved to 41 and Darren Sammy was toiling without success. Then there was a confident appeal for lbw, which was turned down by umpire Kumar Dharmasena, and on cue Raqibul found himself stuck on the crease against an in-ducker that hit the pad. Bangladesh were 159 for 3.

Shakib Al Hasan then batted serenely with Mushfiqur Rahim and they scored the runs promised by Tamim's sound start. Just when the passage to stumps seemed smooth, though, Shakib began to get frustrated by Samuels' line. A string of dot balls culminated in Shakib trying to cut a ball that was too close to him and edging to the wicketkeeper. Mushfiqur remained firm at the other end, though, mixing a defensive game with a few strokes that ensured a final burst by Edwards and the rest was thwarted.

"I think it is a good achievement that we batted one whole day," Tamim said. "It is difficult to say how much we'll score since this isn't a fast-scoring wicket. Batsmen have to work hard on it. I think 320-350 will be a very good score.

"Normally when I drive a ball away from the body, it comes to the bat easily but it wasn't coming here. Hitting the ball was difficult unless it was pitched up or a really bad delivery."

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

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