The loss of fast bowler Tino Best with a hamstring injury after luncuh put a serious dent in the West Indies' efforts to finish off Bangladesh on the first day of the second Test here yesterday. In Best's absence, Bangladesh were boosted by an unbroken ninth-wicket stand between debutant century-maker Abul Hasan and Mahmudullah. And West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said yesterday Best's injury, which prevented him from bowling more than ten overs in the day, stretched the rest of the attack.
"The team was missing Tino Best after lunch, it was a big blow for us," Gibson said. "The impact that Tino had on the last Test match, and then to come and miss him after lunch, was a bit of a blow for the guys. Everybody else had to dig a little bit deeper."
Fidel Edwards was one of the bowlers who dug deep. He claimed his twelfth five-wicket haul, and second against Bangladesh in consecutive Tests. His pace was enough to push Nazimuddin deep into the crease, in the third over of the morning, and allowed a catch to be fended to short leg. He was lucky to have Naeem Islam drag a wide delivery on to the stumps but his pace and movement accounted for Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Sohag Gazi.
After the Dhaka Test last year, and before this spell, Edwards took only nine wickets in 11 innings. As a result, he wasn't picked for the Tests at home against New Zealand in August and also wasn't part of the first choice in the first Test of this series. But Gibson praised his effort, particularly the manner of his comeback. "He is a quality performer. He was waiting in the side to come back. He proved the sort of bowler that he is," Gibson said.
Edwards said the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim gave him a lot of satisfaction. "The captain [Mushfiqur Rahim] was starting to get set. He is the guy who can anchor the innings. Once we got him, we could push for more wickets. The wicket is really flat where the batsmen can get off to a flyer, so you have to bowl in good areas," he said.
The setback due to Best's injury was exacerbated by Sunil Narine's lacklustre display. He went wicketless for 19 overs on the day, after an ordinary showing in the first Test in which he picked up three late wickets in the first innings.
"He's a quality bowler, mostly in the one-day format. In Test matches he got 10-12 wickets in first two Test matches against New Zealand but he has found bowling here a bit difficult," Gibson said.
"He has played a lot of cricket in a short space of time in his career. We will help him to understand Test cricket. When he gets it right, he's a quality performer. He's having a bad time of it but all a coach can ask for is for a bowler to continue working hard in the nets and that's exactly what he's doing."
Bangladesh lost three wickets each in the first two sessions, and for a while after the tea break, they were down to the No. 10. Like everyone else, Gibson too was looking forward to a quick finish and then a short batting period before stumps.
"The guys should be a little disappointed with what has happened. We should have made more inroads. 190 for eight represents a good day, and then the last session you have to give them credit.
"Young [Abul] Hasan obviously batted very well. He rode a little bit of luck up front. This is what happens in Test cricket, this is day one of five. It was a tough day for us."