A reversion to their strength and more suitable conditions helped Bangladesh produce a much more competitive performance in the first two sessions of the second and final Test against West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston yesterday. Spin was introduced as early as the second over after skipper Shakib Al Hasan chose to bowl first and by tea on the first day West Indies had reached 164 for three with both sides looking for the edge on a hard-fought day.
West Indies batting mainstay Kraigg Brathwaite was unbeaten on a patient 81 with Shimron Hetmyer for company when tea was taken.
After the innings and 219-run humiliation in the first Test in Antigua, Bangladesh had opted to drop misfiring pacer Rubel Hossain for the left-arm spin of Taijul Islam. Taijul did repay the faith late in the second session, ending the 79-run third-wicket partnership by getting Shai Hope caught off the shoulder of the bat by wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, who put in a despairing dive to send Hope home for 29.
Earlier, however, it was off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz who -- after opening the attack with Shakib -- provided the early breakthrough in the ninth over when he had opener Devon Smith caught at short leg. Mehedi returned to trap Kieran Powell leg-before in the 25th over for 29 to leave West Indies on 58 for two.
Shakib, who bowled the second over, chose to give just 12 overs of the 65 bowled so far to pacers Kamrul Islam and Abu Jayed.