Windies 295/4 [Brathwaite 110 (279), Hetmyer 84*(98), Mehidy Hasan 3/90]
The first day of the second Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica played out similarly to the first Test, Kraigg Brathwaite yet again scored a century, getting to his eighth century in Test cricket. His last five innings against Bangladesh reads 110 in this match, 121, 63, 45 and 212.
Despite the opening partnership lasting only nine overs, Brathwaite later put together three consecutive fifty plus partnerships, the third of which with Shimron Hetmyer was converted into a century partnership.
Early in the day, Shakib al Hasan won the toss and put the home team into bat. Bangladesh chose to play with three spinners in stark contrast to the Windies who dropped their only frontline spinner.
After a customary over by pacer Abu Jayed, the visiting captain brought himself on along with off-spinner Mehidy Hasan. Both spinners probed outside the off-stump, extracting enough turn and odd bounce to question the Windies’ decision of dropping leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
Defending early on was a real threat for the Windies openers, a few close calls fell short of the fielders. One such chance was created by a Mehidy Hasan delivery on Devon Smith’s pads. The ball took the edge as Smith attempted a flick and it lobbed into the hands of Mominul Haque at short leg.
Kieran Powell at number three pushed the run-rate up after Smith’s dismissal. He overtook his partner Brathwaite getting to 29 off 49 deliveries. Powell predominantly chose to play the spinners from the crease, not even putting a full-stride forward for pitched up deliveries.
Mehidy Hasan subverted this and broke the fifty-partnership by getting Powell out LBW playing a straight delivery from the crease.
At the start of session two, Brathwaite was able to get another fifty-partnership going, this time with Shai Hope. The pair were able to push the Windies to over 100 after they finished at 79/2 at the end of the first session.
The going was tough in the second session, but Brathwaite was up for it with his armory of blocks and leaves despite the ball spinning and bouncing sharply. The pair brought up their fifty partnership one over after Brathwaite got to his own half-century.
The only success that Bangladesh had in the second session was the wicket of Shai Hope. His dismissal under-lined the difficult conditions that Brathwaite waded through. A length delivery from Taijul Islam bounced a little higher than expected and ballooned into the air after catching Hope’s glove. The keeper Nurul Hasan took a good running catch just before the ball hit the ground.
In the third session, the Windies batsmen took the attack to the spinners. Brathwaite got to his century in the 78th over of the day and Shimron Hetmyer followed it up with his 50 in the 81st over which he got in just 63 balls.
After two sessions of scoring less than three runs an over, the Windies batsmen scored 128 runs in 27 overs at a run rate of 4.7. The left-handed Hetmyer was especially hard on the left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, taking him for 23 runs in 25 balls, including four boundaries.
The aggressive intent spread to Brathwaite too, but it proved to be his downfall. Mehidy Hasan broke the 109-run partnership when Brathwaite was caught at short mid-wicket. The delivery before that Brathwaite got a boundary in the same region, but this time Taijul Islam got across to his strong left side to take a sharp catch.
The run rate in the final session truly put the home team ahead, they would be hoping that they can continue the same aggressive nature when they restart at 295/5 on the morning of day two.