Bangladesh fight back against West Indies

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes took Bangladesh to 26-0 in their second innings, and a deficit of 43 runs, at stumps against the West Indies on the third day.

Updated: July 12, 2009 17:31 IST
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Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes took Bangladesh to 26-0 in their second innings, and a deficit of 43 runs, at stumps against the West Indies on the third day of the first Test.

Tamim and Kayes kept their nerve through a tricky seven-over period to remain not out on 14 and 11 respectively, after West Indies, replying to Bangladesh's first innings total of 238, were dismissed for 307 on Saturday.

Bangladesh's bowlers had kept their side in the Test, despite consistent batting down the order from the depleted West Indies.

Mahmudullah snared three wickets for 59 runs from 19.4 overs with his uncomplicated off-spin, and teenaged fast bowler Rubel Hossain, playing in his first Test, collected three for 76 from 15 overs.

But Shakib Al Hasan was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers with two for 76 from 35 overs bowling his steady left-arm spin.

Bangladesh were hamstrung by the absence of their new captain and main fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza with a knee injury.

The tourists, however, remained competitive thanks to a slow, low pitch which made run- scoring difficult, although left-handed opener Omar Phillips hit the top score of 94 for West Indies, Dave Bernard Jr made 53 and Darren Sammy hit 48.

"I was disappointed that I missed the hundred," said 22-year-old Phillips, one of a group of emergency players that West Indies assembled after a strike by their established stars protesting pay and contract issues.

"It was a great innings for me in my first Test, but I tried to change the tactics just a little bit when I got into the 90s, and that's what led to my downfall, but the next time I get that far, I'll know not to change my game plan."

Before lunch, Bangladesh had limited success, as Phillips anchored West Indies to 136 for two.

Bangladesh were hunting early wickets to put the depleted West Indies batting under pressure, when the home team continued from their overnight total of 17 for one.

But the Tigers were held up, when Phillips and night-watchman Ryan Austin added a valuable 79 for the second wicket.

Bangladesh suffered a huge setback, when Mortaza fell over following the third delivery of his seventh over, and injured his right knee.

The visitors' captain left the field and was taken to hospital for a precautionary medical examination.

The rest of the Bangladesh bowlers tried to make headway, but Phillips, who started on nought and took 14 nervous balls to get off the mark, reached his 50 from 92 balls, when he square drove Rubel for a single.

Rubel made the breakthrough for Bangladesh when Austin reached for a delivery outside the off-stump, and was caught low down at first slip for 17.

After lunch, Bangladesh got back into the Test, when they claimed four wickets - two off successive balls for Test newcomer Mahmudullah - to leave West Indies on 228 for six at tea.

Shakib made the early strike after lunch, when he gained an lbw verdict over Dowlin in the third over after the interval.

But Shakib, leading the side in the absence of Mortaza, showed a great sense of awareness with Phillips approaching his maiden Test hundred.

He brought back Rubel - the fastest bowler available to him - and he struck a vital blow, when Phillips tried a loose drive and was caught at short cover.

The left-hander struck seven boundaries from 177 balls in close to four hours of batting.

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