Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Khulna, 1st day November 21, 2012

Abul Hasan's ton masks batting woes

Abul's innings was the most unlikely of sources to put Bangladesh ahead, but the others now need to chip in to help the home side strengthen its hold

Abul Hasan's stunning debut century masked everything else on the first day of the Khulna Test. Bangladesh had slipped to 193 for 8 after a Fidel Edwards five-for, but debutant Abul's free-flowing ton and his unbeaten ninth-wicket stand with Mahmudullah not only helped Bangladesh recover, it took them right in front of West Indies in the stakes for momentum.

The record 172-run partnership did a lot of things the top order or the middle order wasn't able to. The 365 that Bangladesh got to is their highest score on the first day of a Test match, but the fact that none of the top seven contributed significantly is surprising. These batsmen have now gone two innings without making a major contribution, after they had posted 556 in their first innings of the series.

Only Mahmudullah's unbeaten 72 remained a notable contribution from one of the regular batsmen, a point that could be lost to some given his position so low in the batting-order. He is not a regular No.8; the selectors slotted him in five positions in six innings last year, but his maturity is coming through.

He asked Abul to bat naturally, gave enough strike to keep him interested in the proceedings and once Abul got the hang of the bowling and the pitch, Mahmudullah batted with more ease. He has the experience of batting with the tail, but this was different. It required him to swallow the ego, seeing the lesser-known Abul hogging the limelight. But Mahmudullah, an unassuming character, today had the pleasure of watching a special innings from up close.

The trend of throwing away wickets, however, continued in the rest of the batting line-up. Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees gave away their wickets after a promising 59-run second-wicket stand. The left-handers were doing the rights things, leaving anything that created doubt and hitting anything that offered runs. Nafees looked far more comfortable against anything short, bringing out his pull shot a few times, while Tamim continued in second gear with ease against the West Indies fast bowlers. But Nafees lost concentration while trying to defend one way outside off and Tamim left a Darren Sammy delivery alone with disastrous consequences.

The Naeem Islam-Shakib Al Hasan partnership had added 167 runs for the fourth wicket in the previous Test but neither survived for more than half an hour. Naeem's was an uncharacteristic flail at a wide delivery while Shakib again fended outside off stump and was caught-behind off Edwards.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain added 87 for the sixth wicket with the latter taking advantage of the attacking field-set to find the gaps. He crossed his third half-century, but he played one lofted shot too many only to see one lob to mid-on off Veerasammy Permaul, while the captain edged one to the keeper.

The score at the end of the day would please Mushfiqur, especially after he had decided to bat first. But the approach of most of his batsmen and the untimely dismissals would worry him. Batsmen getting starts but falling below 30 won't win Bangladesh many sessions, let alone a whole match.

Abul's innings was the most unlikely of sources to put Bangladesh ahead in a game against a higher-ranked side, but the others now need to chip in to help the home side strengthen its hold.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    It's always great to see the Bangas going well. Really encouraging to see a debutant getting a century too! Congratulations Abul!

  • w on November 22, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Drop Tamim and Nafees. They don't deserve to be in any test team. The only thing I can say to them is.."grow up and think of the country..not just your style (i don't even know if you two have any style)".

  • Aungshuman on November 21, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    I am sorry but I don't think Bangladesh is ahead just yet. If they cant score 450, West Indies will be favorites to take a first innings lead in my book. Anyway 365 in one day is impressive indeed, just shows what an opportunity the top order let go.

  • Sapner on November 21, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    I agree with Ahmed Hussain, Tamim should be given total freedom. He has got a god gifted talent, let him play in his own way is good for the team. We need a solid opener who can team up with tamim, still don't understand why nazimuddin instead of given Anamul a chance. To me Mahmudullah is the most versatile player fits any where after the new ball shine goes. He could be promote to 5th position permanently and rahim can bat his place. Sakib is getting lazy..putting on weight, may be for his injury...needs to work hard and deliver more as he is the most valueable player in the team and it is ovious that we need maximum from him, sorry sakib, but the demand is automatic to you. Abul hasan !!! what a century, keep going man..your knock is a absolute gem. At last, to the whole team...please, don't throw your wicket cheaply, as a fan we waited for a need some positive results. Good luck team BD.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    I long for Mahmudullah's century yet!

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    mr.hussain...i dont think that you know shakib is set to have a surgery next year...although the injury is not threatening it has affected his bowling a far as batting is concerned 2 of his 3 dismissals were easily best deliveries of the match(the tino one was unplayable)....u think he is not interested then why he showed such dissapointment when he was out on is quite amusing that we bangladeshi fans comment on a players commitment so easily....transitioin from one format to another is pretty tough and shakib has admitted that but questioning his commitment is really crossing a threshold

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    Congratulations, Abul Hasan!

  • Muhammad Rakibul on November 21, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Tamim & Nafees threw their wickets all 3 times in the series. They showed no responsibility for long time. Abul taught them a lesson today.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Let Tamim play his A game like Abul did because his plan is to attack and that's just how he goes about it. T20 Cricket has ruined Shakib and he just doesn't look interested at the moment. Rahim easily loses his concentration. Nasir once set plays a rash shot and gets out cheaply, This is a flat track where runs are supposed to be easy but we almost blew it. Its best to make the tracks turn from the first day so that the game is contested well.

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