Sports, Cricket

Shanto’s 146 first day highlight of the Dhaka Test

Published : 14 Jun 2023 09:17 PM

Bangladesh’s batter Najmul Hossain Shanto brought up his third Test ton on the opening day of the one-off Test against Afghanistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday. 

This was Shanto’s first hundred in almost two years. He led the charge, taking the attack to the opposition from the word go as he raced to a 58-ball half-century in the morning session and converted it into a 118-ball ton just after the drinks break in the afternoon.

Bangladesh were going at nearly 4.5 an over, bringing up the team hundred in just 20.1 overs and much of the early attack was because of Shanto’s positive intent. The southpaw sent Afghanistan’s bowlers on a leather hunt, and dispatched the frequent loose balls to all parts of the ground. The only time the pair slowed down in the second session was when both were nearing their respective milestones. Joy’s fifty arrived first, and in a rather comical way, as the batting pair ran five thanks to a couple of misfields from Afghanistan.

Shanto, meanwhile, endured an LBW scare on 98 and finally reached triple figures on the other side of the drinks interval before bringing up Bangladesh’s 200 by thumping a freebie full toss from Rahmat Shah over deep square leg fence. In the following over, Joy raised the 200 of their partnership.

The much-needed breakthrough arrived in the chaotic 45th over, when Joy awkwardly tried a late cut against Rahmat only to edge it to first slip. 

In the morning session, Bangladesh’s second-wicket pair had already posted a century stand after an early jolt. One of the two Afghanistan debutants, Nijat Masood struck with his first ball in Test cricket when he had Zakir Hasan pushing at the delivery angled across and edging it behind. Masood though had to pause the celebrations to call for a review after being initially turned down by the on-field umpire. Barring that, Afghanistan had little to cheer about for the remainder of the two sessions. The bowlers struggled to get their lengths right and Bangladesh’s second-wicket pair made merry.