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A memorable return to Tests for Fidel Edwards was spoiled, when newcomer Abul Hasan overshadowed him with a stunning hundred on debut to lead a rearguard action for Bangladesh against West Indies in the second Test on Wednesday in Khulna.
Edwards, playing in place of injured, fellow fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, was the pick of the Windies bowlers, scalping 5-81 from 16 overs, but Hasan brilliantly counter-attacked with a feisty, even, undefeated 100 to propel the Bangladeshis to 365 for eight in their first innings at the close on the opening day. Hasan became only the fourth batsman at no.10 to score a hundred and the third Bangladeshi debutant to do so.
Bangladesh won the toss at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna, and unsurprisingly opted to make first use of the pitch. Despite losing Nazimuddin for 4 in just the third over to Edwards, the hosts were scoring runs at a quick pace, notching up their 50 in just the 15th over.
The Windies though struck twice late in the first session to ensure that they shared the early honours with Skipper Darren Sammy removing Shahriar Nafees for 26 follwed by the big fish Tamim Iqbal for an unusually sedate 32.
The West Indies kept up the momentum taking two more wickets right after lunch as Naeem Islam (16) and Shakib Al Hasan (17) fell in successive overs of Edwards. At 98-5, Bangladesh were in a world of trouble with Edwards having taken 3 out of the 5 wickets to fall.
Nasir Hossain (52) and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (38) lead the Bangladesh fightback, sharing in an 87-run stand for the 6th wicket before Veerasammy Permaul removed the former. Mushfiqur followed 8 runs later to Edwards, who also knocked over Sohag Gazi later in the same over for naught.
At 193-8 Bangladesh looked ripe for the picking, but debutant Abul Hasan and Mahmudullah produced a magical counter-attacking partnership worth 172 runs to completely turn the game around on its head. The duo smashed 22 boundaries between them with Hasan also plonking three sixes into the stands to bring up his first century in any format. Chances are he'll never bat at no.10 ever again in his career.
The Windies bowlers will look to bounce back early tomorrow morning and wrap up the innings. Still armed with a relatively new ball, and obviously refreshed from their overnight rest, they should be able to bring the innings to an end pretty soon. It will be interesting to see how much turn the Bangladesh spinnners get from this wicket on Day 2, with the Windies spinners picking up just a solitary wicket all day.
Bangladesh 365-8 (86 overs, 4.24rpo)
Abul Hasan 100* (108) F Edwards 5-81
Mahmudullah 72* (89) D Sammy 2-61
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