A resolute Kraigg Brathwaite and a free-scoring Shimron Hetmyer helped windies turn the tide and eventually bag the opening day honours in the second Test against Bangladesh in Jamaica. Batting cautiously in the first couple of sessions on a surface that aided plenty of turn, the Windies switched gears with Hetmyer leading the charge from the front as the hosts added 131 runs off just 27 overs to finish the day at 295/4.
Hetmyer’s intentions were evident right at the start as he punished a shorter delivery and a fuller one off Taijul to start proceedings after the Tea break. Even though Mehidy Hasan continued to pose questions having already picked up a couple of wickets in the first session, the runs were flowing from the other end with Hetmyer picking regular boundaries. Brathwaite eventually got to his second century of the series off 259 balls having showed tremendous resilience throughout the day. With the tide turning completely, Bangladesh took the new ball immediately in search of a breakthrough but once again brought on the spinner much earlier like they did in the first session.
The decision eventually paid off as Mehidy struck against the run of play. Brathwaite who had already deposited the first ball of the over to the boundary, uncharacteristically tried to take on the bowler again but this time, he got the toe end of the bat and hit the ball straight to the midwicket fielder.
Despite the century partnership coming to an end, Hetmyer continued to take his chances and fetched the first six of the game by coming down the wicket to Mehidy just minutes before stumps as his side ended the day on a positive note. This wasn’t expected initially when Mehidy removed Devon Smith and Kieran Powell in the opening session where the Windies managed only 79 runs in 35 overs. While Smith inside edged one onto his pad to be caught by the forward short leg, Powell was trapped plumb in front after failing to read an arm ball.
With the surface at times aiding vicious turn, the Windies batsmen went into a shell and the onus was clearly on Brathwaite to bat as long as possible. His dogged resistance came to the fore post lunch as well with the opener adding vital runs with Shai Hope. Even though Taijul broke the stand much to the relief of the visitors, the platform was laid for an assault in the final session which has invariably put Bangladesh on the backfoot again in their bid to square the series.
Brief scores: Windies 295/4 (Kraigg Brathwaite 110, Shimron Hetmyer 84*; Mehidy Hasan 3-90) vs Bangladesh