2nd Test: Tamim Iqbal fights but West Indies still favourites

Patience and restraint were in short supply from both teams in the post-lunch session. West Indies were in pursuit of quick runs to maximise their lead.

Updated: November 01, 2011 16:51 IST
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Dhaka: Patience and restraint were in short supply from both teams in the post-lunch session. West Indies were in pursuit of quick runs to maximise their lead, which eventually reached 507, and the Bangladesh top-order batsmen continued what they set out to do and failed to accomplish in the first innings. They opted for aggression over caution, even while staring at an imposing target, and while there was a healthy dose of bad deliveries, their approach also came with a significant amount of risk - it cost them two wickets, and it could have been worse.


Attacking batting makes for entertaining cricket and the Bangladesh line-up is packed with attractive strokemakers, but if there was a lesson to be learnt from the first innings for the hosts it was that sustaining aggression for an extended period of time in Test cricket is a major challenge. The opening seamers Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach bowled too short too often but despite their poor lengths the Bangladesh batsmen were only too happy to keep them interested. Tamim slashed Roach uppishly over point and cover as early as the second over.

Realising early that leaving deliveries wasn't part of the plan, as he'd done in the first innings where he picked a five-for, Fidel Edwards persisted with an off-stump line. The presence of two slips and a gully should have prompted circumspection, instead the openers kept those fielders that much more vigilant. Off the first ball of Fidel Edwards' second over, Tamim slapped one to point where Marlon Samuels dropped a straightforward chance. Fidel was given hope again when Imrul Kayes crashed him through the covers four balls later. The next ball was in the channel outside off and Kayes couldn't help pushing at it; he nicked it to Kirk Edwards at slip who plucked a catch inches off the ground.

There was further encouragement for Fidel from Shahriar Nafees, who upper-cut him over the slips. Roach was dealt with the same way by Tamim, who also survived an inside-edge past the stumps while pushing away from his body. The introduction of Darren Sammy brought about a change in lengths and when he offered a tempting, pitched-up delivery to Nafees, it was driven straight back to him, and he accepted thanks to some quick reflexes.

The session began with an acceleration from West Indies, who were subdued in the morning. Darren Bravo smashed the fifth ball of the first over after lunch for a maximum over Nasir Hossain's head and followed up not long after with a crunching boundary through point. As he rotated the strike and moved closer to a double-ton, he smashed Suhrawadi Shuvo over long-on to get to 195. An attempt to get to the landmark with a slog-sweep the next ball cost him his wicket, however, as he top-edged a catch to Mushfiqur Rahim.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was at ease at the other end. Say what you want about his unorthodox and less than eye-catching technique but his skill and ability to adapt and improvise is matched by few. It was he who triggered West Indies' acceleration, with three boundaries past mid-off, midwicket and extra cover minutes before lunch. After the break, he pulled Shahadat Hossain for successive boundaries and ran well between the wickets, reaching a half-century, raising a century partnership with Bravo and taking West Indies to a virtually invincible position.

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