Bangladesh cricketers celebrate the dismissal of West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle during the first day of the first Test match between Bangladesh and the West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on November 13, 2012.     — Photo by AFP

DHAKA: The ever-reliable Shivnarine Chanderpaul and opener Kieran Powell hit stubborn hundreds to give the West Indies a commanding start in the first Test in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Chanderpaul remained unbeaten on 123 for his 26th Test century while Powell notched 117 for his second to help the West Indies to an imposing 361-4 at close on the opening day after Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to bat.

The 38-year-old, who joined Powell at the stroke of lunch on 106-3, not only played a calm knock but also guided his young colleague to reverse Bangladesh's early advantage on a slow turning Shere Bangla stadium pitch.

Chanderpaul, ranked fifth in the world, added an invaluable 125 runs for the fourth wicket with Powell before strengthening the West Indian position during an unbroken 130-run partnership with Denesh Ramdin who was 52 not out at close.

Bangladesh had looked good in the first hour when debutant off-spinner Sohag Gazi, opening the attack with the new ball, dismissed Chris Gayle    (24) and Darren Bravo (14) before paceman Shahadat Hossain knocked Marlon Samuels for 16.

But Powell and Chanderpaul avoided any further loss, taking the West Indies to 223-3 at tea.

Powell reached his century with a sweep off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan for his 15th boundary before he was bowled by Gazi who finished with 3-97. Powell hit 18 boundaries and a six during his 178-ball stay.

Chanderpaul, playing his 145th Test, was equally resolute as he completed his hundred with a four and single off Nasir Hossain. He has so far hit 17 boundaries off 195 balls.

Earlier, Gayle greeted Gazi with aggression, smashing the first and fourth ball of the match by Gazi for big sixes before clobbering two fours off paceman Shahadat Hossain to threaten Bangladesh's bowling attack.

But Gazi soon had revenge, having the flamboyant opener caught at long-off in his fifth over.

Darren Bravo added 42 for the second wicket before miscuing a drive off Gazi and was caught at point to leave the West Indies at 74-2.

Like Bangladesh the West Indies handed a debut to a young spinner in the form of 23-year-old left-armer Veerasammy Permaul.

The second and final Test will be played in Khulna from November 21.

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