GROS ISLET   -    After an insipid batting performance on the opening day, Bangladesh produced a strong bowling response on the second morning of the St Lucia Test that was left delicately placed with hosts West Indies still in the deficit by 97 runs having lost four wickets.

This after Kraigg Brathwaite (51) and John Campbell put on the team’s first century opening stand in nearly four years was testament to Bangladesh’s fight. Three off the four West Indies wickets to fall in the opening session came in a 15-ball period after Bangladesh finally succeeded in their quest to have the ball changed. Mehidy Hasan, introduced after the drinks break, drew Brathwaite forward in defence and then beat his outside edge with the drift and knocked over his off-stump.  Khaled Ahmed then exploited the uneven bounce of the pitch and earned two drag ons as Raymon Reifer and Nkrumah Bonner fell in the same over. From 100/0, West Indies had slipped to 132/4 with the visitors finding their voice to welcome the new batters ahead of a nervy 10-minute period before Lunch.

Until then it was rather smooth sailing for West Indies, with Brathwaite and Campbell continuing rather serenely from the team’s overnight total of 67/0. While Ebadot Hossain produce a nippy opening spell, giving away just 16 from seven overs of toil, Khaled had a slow start and was taken off the attack after a three-over burst. His fuller lines weren’t exactly bringing the uneven bounce into play and were allowing the batters to lean into drives.

The introduction of Shoriful Islam changed that. With two men out on the hook, he explored the shorter lengths and was duly rewarded when a ball kicked up and rushed Campbell on the pull. He managed to only glove it and the ‘keeper Nurul Hasan settled under a simple catch.  Brathwaite, obdurate and resolute as ever, managed to get to the fifty that Campbell missed but no sooner than it seemed like he and Reifer would rubber-stamp West Indies’ dominant position than Bangladesh found a way to storm back into the contest.