Kraigg Brathwaite’s excellent 110 and Shimron Hetmyer’s unbeaten 84 took the West Indies to 295-4 against Bangladesh.
Brathwaite’s 110 helped the Windies on their way to an excellent first day total of 295/4, as Bangladesh struggled to find the form that also proved elusive in the first Test.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bowl first in the second Test, eliminating any chance of last week’s horror-show from happening again.
Brathwaite and Devon Smith began cautiously as Shakib Al Hasan opted to open up with spin. The tourists were rewarded for their unorthodox ploy when Smith (two) mistimed a leg-side flick to Mehedi Hasan and Taijul Islam scooped the catch from short-leg, leaving the hosts slumped on 9-1.
Kieran Powell joined the fold and began positively, hitting four boundaries on his way to 29 before that man Hasan notched his second scalp, pinning the batsman on his pads lbw with a sliding delivery.
The Windies reached the break at 79-2 having faced an impressive 35 overs in one session, 33 of those being spin.
Brathwaite continued after the interval in much the same fashion as he had begun his innings, blocking and leaving to his heart’s content to protect his wicket against the spinners. Shai Hope batted valiantly for his 29 from 79, before spin once again was the Windies’ foe. Left-arm tweaker Taijul Islam (1-65) got one to jump and grip a little, catching Hope’s glove and ballooning into the fielder’s hands.
At 138/3, Bangladesh had just about evened proceedings having broken the vital Hope-Brathwaite partnership. The latter stoically batted on up to the tea break with Hetmyer, and the pair guided the hosts to 164-3.
Kraigg Brathwaite brings up his eighth Test match century from 259 deliveries! What an admirable, patient and highly effective knock from the Windies man. He will want to kick on and make it a big one ????#WIvBAN LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/AeaKOyOHTf pic.twitter.com/QUvaCAul1r
— ICC (@ICC) July 12, 2018
Hetmyer, a natural aggressor, rotated the strike with aplomb, and looked incredibly assured on his return to the Test line-up. He was dropped on 31 by Liton Das in the slips, but bar that close call, he was excellent for his unbeaten knock of 84, smashing some fantastic shots all around the park and really accelerating into the evening session.
Brathwaite refused to lose focus throughout his quest to three figures, and he finally brought up his ton from 259 deliveries. It was properly concentrated, gritty, impressive Test batting, and it was his second consecutive Test hundred. Shakib (0/51), Abu Jayed (0/22), Kamrul Islam (0/22) and Mahmudullah (0/20) all toiled away to no avail on a day of few chances in Kingston.
Brathwaite eventually fell for 110 to Hasan, who picked up his third key wicket late in the day, tempting the Windies batsman to a big, uncharacteristic heave that landed in Islam’s hands at mid-wicket.
Roston Chase batted through until close unbeaten on 16, while the hugely impressive Hetmyer concluded proceedings on 84* from 98, having hit nine fours and a six.
At 295/4, the hosts reached stumps knowing that they had the ascendancy going into day two. Brathwaite’s patient, diligent knock earlier in the day was the perfect platform for the home side, and his 109-run partnership with Hetmyer could prove pivotal in this decisive Test.
Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images