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Bangladesh’s Growth Is Fueled By Najmul Hossain Ton.

Bangladesh's growth is fueled by Najmul Hossain Ton.
In the middle session of Day 1, Shanto achieved his third Test ton.

In addition to the assistance of Najmul Hossain Shanto’s third Test century and Mahmudul Joy’s 76, Bangladesh took an early lead in the one-off Test against Afghanistan. Bangladesh scored 235/2 by Tea on the first day of play.

Shanto led the charge, attacking the opposition from the start as he raced to a half-century off 58 balls in the morning session and a century off 118 balls just before the refreshments break in the afternoon. Joy played the ideal supporting role, taking his time to adjust to the uncharacteristically verdant Dhaka pitch before releasing his limbs more frequently and ruthlessly punishing the loose ones on his way to his third Test fifty. The lack of discipline displayed by Afghanistan’s bowlers, who delivered 10 no-balls and 21 extras over the course of the two sessions, also aided their cause.

Bangladesh were scoring at nearly 4.5 runs per over, reaching their century in just 20.1 overs, and Shanto was largely responsible for their aggressive start. The southpaw sent Afghanistan’s bowlers on a search for leather and dispatched the numerous loose deliveries to all areas of the ground. The only time the duo eased down during the second session was as they approached their respective milestones. Joy’s fifty came first, and in a rather farcical manner, as the batting duo ran five due to two misfields by Afghanistan.

Shanto, meanwhile, survived an LBW threat on 98 and eventually reached triple figures after the refreshments break before bringing Bangladesh’s total to 200 by smashing a freebie full-toss from Rahmat Shah over the deep square leg boundary. In the subsequent round, Joy raised the 200 of their partnership.

The tumultuous 45th over saw the much-needed breakthrough as Joy clumsily attempted a late cut against Rahmat only to edge it to first slip. As a result, Afghanistan became greedy and burned a review on an LBW appeal against Mominul Haque that was missing stumps, ending the 212-run second-wicket partnership. The replays showed it would have in fact touched the top of Mominul’s leg-stump, but the visitors decided not to examine another appeal later in the same over. In the afternoon session, the hosts added 119 to their total thanks to him surviving to knock a four and a six off the spinner.

After an early setback, Bangladesh’s second-wicket tandem had already amassed a century in the morning session. Nijat Masood, one of the two Afghanistan debutants, struck with his first ball in Test cricket when he had Zakir Hasan straining at an angled delivery and slipping it behind. Masood had to halt his celebrations to request a review after the on-field umpire denied his initial request. Aside from this, Afghanistan had little to celebrate for the remaining two sessions. The bowlers labored with their lengths, and the second-wicket duo of Bangladesh made merry.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 235/2 (Najmul Hosain Shanto 126*, Mahmudul Joy 76; Rahmat Shah 1-26) vs Afghanistan


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