Opener, Tamim Iqbal scored a maiden Test century as he led Bangladesh in wrestling their way to securing the upper hand on the fourth day of the First Digicel Test at Arnos Vale when they got to 321 for 5.
Bangladesh now lead by 252 runs with five wickets in the shed after they erased the first innings deficit of 69. During the rain affected first two days the visiting side made 238 to which the West Indies responded with 307. The Bangladeshi’s current score is their tenth highest in Tests and their second best against the Windies following 416 at Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia in 2004.
Tamim was gifted two chances in scoring 128 from 243 deliveries inclusive of 17 fours but perished as he tried to up the tempo. The 20 year old left hander from Chittagong started the day on 11 and took 72 deliveries to get to fifty and another 134 deliveries to reach the triple figure landmark for the first time in his 11 Test career. Immediately after completing his ton he was grounded by cramps in his legs but pushed on bravely until he departed early in the final session during which Bangladesh lost four of their five wickets.
Junaid Siddique, another left hander, who batted at number three also registered his Test best of 78, topping his previous highest score of 74. Junaid faced 160 balls and was a lot more circumspect than Tamim, stroking only four boundaries throughout his innings. The pair added 146 for the second wicket after the openers (Tamim and Imrul Kayes who made 24) put on 82 as they wasted little time wiping away the deficit in the first session.
It was an arduous day for the Windies as they toiled for 98 overs and only took five wickets all told– but they did themselves little favour having dropped Tamim twice, first on 30 and afterwards on 76.
Captain Floyd Reifer was the first culprit as he floored a sitter at first slip when Darren Sammy induced an edge, then Omar Phillips failed to hang on to a full blooded pull off Ryan Austin’s generously flighted off spin.
Sammy toiled manfully and was rewarded with two wickets for 53 runs from 23 overs while Austin sent down 30 overs which cost 78 runs and had the solitary wicket of Kayes.
Tamim fell shortly after tea when he moved into fifth gear as he looked to add bulk to the scorecard and put his team in a position to declare and put pressure on the reconstituted Windies team playing in place of the regular players who took industrial action prior to the start of the series.
Tamim hit medium pacer David Bernard for six fours in seven deliveries, inclusive of four consecutive boundaries in the 78th over but in attempting to clobber the final delivery of that over to the boundary, pulled it straight down Travis Dowlin’s throat at mid on.
Pacer Kemar Roach pocketed the other wicket when he trapped the dangerous strokemaker Mohammad Ashraful lbw for 3. The not out batsmen are Shakib Al Hasan (26*) and pint sized wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (28*) who have so far added 54 in an unbroken sixth wicket partnership.
Going into the fifth day all three outcomes are possible but a draw would have to be deemed the most likely particularly as the pitch remains very good for batting and Bangladesh is missing the services of captain and lead strike bowler Mashrafe Mortaza whose troublesome right knee failed him during the Windies first innings.