1st Test

Bangladesh v West Indies in Bangladesh, 2011-12

Utpal Shuvro

At Chittagong, October 21-25, 2011. Drawn. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debuts: Elias Sunny, Nasir Hossain.

Elias Sunny took 6 for 94 on Test debut, Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st Test, Chittagong, 5th day, October 25, 2011
Elias Sunny took 6 for 94 on Test debut © Associated Press

The shortcomings of the drainage system at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium proved a major embarrassment to the Bangladeshi authorities - and possibly cost their team a rare Test victory too. Bangladesh claimed a first-innings lead of 106 and, on a spin- friendly pitch, might have expected to press home that advantage.

But they didn't get the chance. After overnight rain washed out the second day entirely - play was called off at 11.15 - the third day dawned bright and sunny. The ground, however, resembled a bog, and it was announced as early as 10.30 that there could be no play. The teams and officials stayed at their hotel, and the only action came from the hard- pressed groundstaff, who were doing their best to clear up the muddy outfield and ensure that there could at least be some play on the fourth day. The Bangladesh board president, A. H. M. Mustafa Kamal, admitted it was not good enough: "The ground is poor," he said after treading gingerly on the outfield. "Of course I am embarrassed."

Even though there was little prospect of a result, there was a fair bit of drama when play did resume. Bangladesh had reached 255 for four before the rain, one of their better Test displays as the batsmen for once exhibited discipline and patience. They had often been accused of playing too many shots and relying on boundaries, but now ran 106 singles against puzzlingly defensive field-settings. Tamim Iqbal exemplified this changed attitude, casting aside his usual carefree approach to reach a sedate half-century from 133 balls.

This new approach only went so far: seven men reached 30, but no one made it to three figures, the top score 68 by Mushfiqur Rahim. Still, Mushfiqur was able to indulge in the luxury of a declaration - only Bangladesh's fourth in 71 Tests - and he did so again late on the final day in a brave bid to make something of a dead match. Mushfiqur was only the fourth man to declare twice in his first Test in charge, after Waqar Younis, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.

That second closure left West Indies to score 226 in 37 overs, and they had meandered to 100 for two when both sides pulled the plug an hour before the scheduled close. West Indies batted with more composure than in the first innings, when they subsided to 244, a total which would have been lower but for a spirited 58 from 43 balls from Sammy - his maiden Test half-century - and the gift of five penalty runs, imposed by the umpires after Bangladesh's batsmen twice ran down the pitch during their first innings. Brathwaite, the young opener, also survived having two stumps uprooted during the second over of the innings, after Rubel Hossain overstepped.

The match may have ended in a mundane draw, but Bangladesh did unearth a new starlet in Elias Sunny. A 25-year-old slow left-armer from Dhaka, he flighted the ball craftily and bagged seven wickets, including six for 94 in the first innings, despite having two early catches dropped. He was only the fourth man to take a five-for on debut for Bangladesh, and only the third Bangladeshi to lift the match award in his first Test, following Javed Omar and Mohammad Ashraful in 2001.

Man of the Match: Elias Sunny

© John Wisden & Co.