Bangladesh had much the better of the West Indies on the third day of the first Test in Mirpur, closing within sight of their highest ever Test total of 488 and the West Indies' first innings total of 527 for four declared.
Naeem Islam and Shakib Al Hasan were the men who did the bulk of the run-scoring, breaking the national record for the fourth-wicket partnership during their stand of 167.
Naeem was very much the foil to Shakib’s aggression, especially early on. He scored just eight off 50 deliveries in the first hour before slowly upping the tempo. His half-century came from 136 balls, while his maiden Test century took 228. Upon reaching the milestone he fell into the arms of his captain Mushfiqur Rahim - with whom he added a further 76 for the fifth-wicket following Shakib’s departure.
Naeem would eventually fall for 108 shortly afterwards to a wearied shot which found the gloves of wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin. Shakib had fallen 26 overs earlier for 89 when he drilled Ravi Rampaul to the substitute fielder, Assad Fudadin.
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At 362 for five with both of their tormentors gone, West Indies would have fancied their chances of still emerging from the day with some credit. However, Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah ensured that, for once, Bangladesh didn’t surrender an advantage that they had worked so hard for.
They had taken their unbroken seventh-wicket partnership to 87 by stumps and Bangladesh to 455 for six - just 72 runs shy of the tourists' first innings total. Nasir had 33 of those of 75 balls, with Mahmudullah on 42 off 79.
Thanks to the home side's resistance today, the match is now likely to end in a draw. However, thanks to the rate at which both sides have scored their runs, there are still two days to go and a collapse from either side in the second innings could yet hand the other victory.
© Cricket World 2012
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