KHULNA (Bangladesh), Nov 21: Bangladesh’s Abul Hasan became only the second man in 135 years of Test cricket to hit a debut hundred while batting at No 10, on the first day of the second and final Test against the West Indies on Wednesday.
At stumps the 20-year-old left-hander was unbeaten on 100. He had added an invaluable 172 with Bangladesh vice-captain Mohammad Mahmudullah (72) after the home team were in trouble on 193-8 at the Sheikh Abu Naser Divisional Stadium, which also made its Test debut.
The unlikely hero turned spinner Sunil Narine for two to reach his century and match the feat of Australian Reggie Duff, who scored 104 against England at Melbourne in 1902 while batting at No 10.
Abul, whose previous highest first-class score was 61, played with complete authority. He hit 13 boundaries and three towering sixes off just 108 balls to nullify a destructive 5-81 by paceman Fidel Edwards.
Two runs off a Sunil Narine delivery brought up his century, which made him the third Bangladeshi only to reach three figures on Test debut after Aminul Islam and Mohammad Ashraful.
Edwards had pushed Bangladesh to the brink five minutes after the tea interval when he dismissed skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (38) and Sohag Gazi (0) in one over.
Abul and all-rounder Mahmudullah set a new record for ninth wicket in all Bangladesh Tests, beating the 77 by Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain against India at Chittagong in 2007.
The pair are just 24 short of beating the world record for the ninth wicket in all Test cricket — 195 set by South African pair Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox against Pakistan at Johannesburg in 1998.
An unassuming Abul said he just wanted to back up Mahmudullah.
“When I went to bat, I just wanted to support my partner. I did not know about any record but Mahmudullah told me to bat like a batsman, which I did, and in the end I am very happy to score a century,” he said.
The West Indies were sloppy in the field. Kieran Powell dropped Abul on 42 and Mahmudullah was put down by Darren Bravo when on 37 — both off a luckless left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
Abul made the most of his escape, hitting a four and six off Darren Sammy to complete his half-century off just 55 balls. He continued in the same vein in the last hour.
Mahmudullah, a recognised batsman overshadowed by the newcomer, has hit nine fours in his 89-ball knock.
Bangladesh, who trail 0-1 in the series after losing the first Test by 77 runs, won the toss but lost opener Nazimuddin in the third over of the innings for just four.
Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees batted sensibly to add 59 for the second wicket but West Indian captain Sammy struck twice to give his team the upper hand.
Shahriar edged a wide delivery to the wicket-keeper to depart for 26 while Tamim was bowled off a sharp incoming delivery for 32.
In the second over after lunch fellow paceman Edwards removed first Test centurion Naeem Islam (16) and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (17) in successive overs.
Nasir Hossain (52) and Mushfiqur (38) put on 87 for the sixth wicket before Nasir was caught by Edwards off Permaul’s bowling.
Edwards then took two wickets in his first over after the tea break, having Mushfiqur brilliantly caught by Ramdin and trapping Gazi lbw.—AFP
BANGLADESH (1st Innings): Tamim Iqbal b Sammy 32 Nazimuddin c Powell b Edwards 4 Shahriar Nafees c Ramdin b Sammy 26 Naeem Islam b Edwards 16 Shakib Al Hasan c Ramdin b Edwards 17 Mushfiqur Rahim c Ramdin b Edwards 38 Nasir Hossain c Edwards b Permaul 52 Mohammad Mahmudullah not out 72 Sohag Gazi lbw b Edwards 0 Abul Hasan not out 100 EXTRAS (B-4, LB-3, NB-1) 8 TOTAL (for eight wkts, 86 overs) 365 FALL OF WKTS: 1-5, 2-64, 3-77, 4-93, 5-98, 6-185, 7-193, 8-193. TO BAT: Rubel Hossain. BOWLING (to-date): Edwards 16-2-81-5 (1nb); Best 10-3-31-0; Sammy 20-4-61-2; Narine 19-0-91-0; Permaul 19-2-79-1; Samuels 2-0-15-0. WEST INDIES: C.H. Gayle, K.O.A. Powell, D.M. Bravo, M.N. Samuels, S. Chanderpaul, D. Ramdin, D.J.G. Sammy, V. Permaul, S.P. Narine, T.L. Best, F.H. Edwards. UMPIRES: R.K. Illingworth (England) and B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia). TV UMPIRE: Enamul Haque (Bangladesh). MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (Australia).