Rahim half-ton steadies Bangladesh


Bangladesh moved to a 255 for four at the close of play on day one of the first Test against the West Indies in Chittagong.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim, with a great deal of help from his predecessor Shakib Al Hasan, carried Bangladesh to a solid 255 four at stumps on day one of the first Test against the West Indies in Chittagong on Friday.

The duo's 79-run stand for the fourth wicket was the best of the day and saw to it that the solid foundation set up by Tamim Iqbal (52) and Raqibul Hasan (41) was not laid to waste.

Rahim's choice to bat first was the right one as characteristically flat conditions at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium greeted the teams.

Shrugging off the relatively early losses of Imrul Kayes, who feathered and edge behind on the back of some tidy movement off the seam from Ravi Rampaul, and Shahriar Nafees, who was forced to retire hurt after copping a Fidel Edwards bouncer to the nose, Iqbal and Hasan were measured in their 52-run alliance.

Other than the odd bit of bite produced by Edwards and Rampaul , the Windies attack was hardly a threat to batsmen entirely used to playing across low, slow tracks. Searching for reward with variation of pace and tweaks in angle, the medium-pacers came up largely empty-handed.

It took spinner Marlon Samuels to orchestrate the second breakthrough of the day, though it was Iqbal's rush of blood to the head rather than the bowler's approach that brought the wicket. True to brash fashion, the cavalier left-hander fancied a fat dip down the ground but succeeded only in holing out to a top edge.

Hasan fell to lbw to Sammy 15 overs later, leaving Rahim and Al Hasan to stave off a potential collapse, which have often marred good starts by Bangladesh in the past.

The talented twosome delivered to the tune of 27 overs together. Rahim, grassed early on by Sammy in the slips, moved to the seventh half-century of his burgeoning Test career en route to 68 not out and was well shepherded by Shakib.

The former captain, though, couldn't dig in through to stumps and eight overs before the close handed Samuels his second scalp in falling for 40. Again the bowler didn't entirely deserve the wicket, with a loose cut shot scooting an edge to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh.

Having declined the new ball until the 90th over, the visitors enjoyed no further reprieve from the day's hard slog as Rahim took Naeem Islam under his wing and will on Saturday look carry his side to a first-innings score of 400 at least.