Bangladesh surrender advantage after Mominul ton
A topsy-turvy day that consisted a brilliant 120 by Mominul Haque and a blazing third spell from Shannon Gabriel, ended with Bangladesh’s ninth-wicket stand of Taijul Islam and debutant Nayeem Hasan resisting West Indies in the last-hour-and-a-half. Their 56-run stand staved off the visitors who had taken control early in the third session.
After going swimmingly well for the first two sessions, Bangladesh collapsed from 222 for 3 to 235 for 7 in the space of 4.2 overs. Shannon Gabriel picked all four wickets – Mominul, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan.
Mominul edged a waft outside off-stump. Mushfiqur, fresh from an unbeaten 219 in his last Test, lasted two balls before Gabriel jagged one back into his pads an trapped him in front. In his next over, Gabriel got another one to nip back between Mahmudullah’s bat and pad and tonk his stumps. Shakib was the fourth wicket to fall in that Gabriel spell, another inswinger that took the inside edge on its way to clipping middle stump.
On many days, such a blazing spell would have spelled the end of the Bangladesh innings, with the tailenders at the crease. But Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam and 17-year-old debutant Nayeem Hasan batted a combined 148 balls together. The Taijul-Nayeem ninth-wicket stand that has so far lasted 95 balls.
The stand had its moments: Taijul survived two leg-before decisions through reviews, while also seeing Jomel Warrican dropping the throw that would have run him out after he slipped on the turn when being rejected a third run by Nayeem.
However, the day should be remembered for Mominul’s hundred. He made 120 off 167 balls with ten fours and a six. This was his eighth hundred in Tests, equaling Tamim’s record for most centuries for Bangladesh. It was also Mominul’s fourth century in 2018, equal with Virat Kohli; the fourth hundred also meant he now holds the record for most hundreds in a calendar year for Bangladesh.
Despite losing Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes on either end of the first session, Mominul ensured Bangladesh made a strong start. After Soumya was out third ball of the match edging a Kemar Roach delivery, Mominul struck Gabriel for three fours and generally dominated a 104-run second wicket partnership with Imrul Kayes, who survived two chances on his way to 44.
Roston Chase had dropped him at second slip on 3, and Warrican had overstepped as Kayes slogged him to deep square-leg on 16. Mominul struck the left-arm spinner Warrican for three fours in the 16th over and reached his fifty off 69 balls. But West Indies would have been relieved to get Kayes in the last over before lunch, as he hit Warrican straight to short leg.
Soon after the lunch break, Dowrich dropped Mominul on 67 off Devendra Bishoo, before the wicketkeeper took Mohammad Mithun’s skier, after an unnecessary slog against Bishoo. It was the second time in his three Test innings that Mithun had fallen in that manner.
Mominul remained solid as he and Shakib rebooted Bangladesh’s innings during their fourth wicket stand. Mominul slammed a six over midwicket to reach 98 before reaching his hundred in the following over, with a four through point. The game unraveled swiftly, however, as Bangladesh first collapsed and then resisted. Through it all, both teams would have noticed just how much the ball was turning, even when Kraigg Brathwaite bowled his part-time offspin.