Tamim Iqbal’s patient 78-run knock helped Bangladesh to conclude the second day of their first Test against England at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Friday in a rather evenly poised situation. The Tigers trail the visitors by 72 runs with five wickets in hand as they ended the day's proceedings on 221/5.
Shakib al Hasan will resume the third day's play on Saturday on 31 alongside nightwatchman Shafiul Islam (nought) with the home side looking to take the all-important first innings lead.
As expected, the pitch had a lot to offer for the spinners, much like the first day, and the hosts went out to bat in their first innings anticipating a formidable challenge from the visitors' slow bowlers. Imrul Kayes and Tamim tried to ensure they batted well but the former, who initially looked fluent among the two, was outfoxed by a brilliant Moeen Ali delivery that shaped in and spun just a bit to hit the off-stump. Imrul departed after scoring 21 runs.
The session breaks proved to be obstacles for the home side as they lost wickets before every interval. Mominul Haque was the first to be dismissed just before the lunch break as he was caught at gully to become the second victim of Moeen. Mominul departed without troubling the scorers with the Tigers struggling on 29/2.
Probably Tamim realised the demand of the situation as it was not easy to play strokes. So, he tried to lean over the deliveries and made sure of connecting the ball with his sweet part of the bat. He scored his first boundary after 48 balls and was joined at the crease by Mahmudullah.
Both Tamim and Mahmudullah rescued the home side from the initial damage and added 90 runs for the third wicket during which the left hander reached his 19th Test fifty and his seventh half-century in nine innings against England.
In the meantime, he also reached another milestone, that of scoring 2000 Test runs at home.
But just when the home side started to take control, leg-spinner Adil Rashid initiated a break-through for the visitors, dismissing Mahmudullah for 38 just before the tea break.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim then joined Tamim, who was initially given caught behind by Kumar Dharmasena off the bowling of Moeen on 55. But he successfully reviewed the decision to remain at the crease.
Probably the wait of 11 years before returning to Test cricket for England was a well-deserved one for off-spinner Gareth Batty as he picked up the all-important wicket of Tamim when he edged it to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow. Tamim fell 22 runs short of his eighth Test ton.
Shakib then joined Mushfiq as both the batsmen ensured there would be no more hiccups. But the visitors came back strong and bowled brilliantly in the last hour of the day. And once again Bangladesh lost a wicket just before the end of the day's play when Mushfiq edged a Ben Stokes delivery after scoring 48.
Earlier, England resumed the second day on 258/7 and were eventually bundled out for 293 within the first hour of the day.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz picked up the wicket of Stuart Broad to get his sixth wicket. And in the process, Mushfiq, who took the catch of Broad, initiated the most dismissals by a Bangladeshi wicket-keeper with 77 catches and 11 stumpings, leaving behind Khaled Mashud Pilot's tally of 87 dismissals.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam also bowled well and finally got rewards for his persistence as he picked up two wickets at the end.
221/5 in 74 overs (Tamim 78, Mushfiq 48, Mahmudullah 38, Shakib 31*, Moeen 2/66) trail ENGLAND
293 in 105.5 overs (Moeen 68, Bairstow 52, Miraz 6/80, Shakib 2/46, Taijul 2/47) by 72 runs