Bangladesh's strong reply brought a number of 'firsts' in Bangladesh cricket, from Naeem Islam scoring his first century to the hosts making their highest ever fourth wicket stand. Bangladesh's strong performance though didn't surprise the West Indian coach Ottis Gibson.
"Looking at the way the pitch played for us, we realised that it was a flat pitch and yesterday the declaration was based around that. We needed more time at the back end to force a result," said Gibson after the third day of the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. "They came up today and they played really well. Young Naeem got a 100 and played really well. He batted the way one should in Test cricket. He played the anchor role. Shakib played some good cricket as well," he added.
The West Indian bowling attack, on a flat deck, claimed three wickets on the day as Bangladesh crossed the 450 mark after having lost six wickets. The bouncer was a frequently used delivery by the West Indian pace attack.
"There is not a lot on the pitch. There wasn't a lot of swing. So guys running in were trying hard. They put in a lot of effort. There were instances where we bowled really well, there were instances when we didn't. But on a flat pitch like that you need to unsettle them with bouncers. But credit to the Bangladeshi batsman they didn't let us bully them," said Gibson.
Amongst his spinners, Gibson gave the debutant Verasammy Permaul a higher rating in terms of performance as compared to the lethal Sunil Narine. "He (Narine) didn't bowl as well as we expected him to bowl. But this is his third game in international cricket and it's a learning experience for him. On the other side, young Permaul bowled really well I thought. He flighted the ball," said Gibson. "Today was not all bad for us. We probably expected to get a few more wickets, but we need to work a little harder from tomorrow," he added.
The coach was moderately satisfied with the way his team had shifted from T20 cricket to the longer version of the game. "Our first three wickets didn't get out playing Test cricket shots but that's how they play. Gayle, Samuels are quality players who have made runs in all formats. But I am sure they will be disappointed the way they got out. But with four and five hundred on the board we thought we did well," said Gibson.
With two more days to go in the Test, the visiting coach was of the opinion that the game was still wide open. "They played a really good day today and that will give them confidence to win the game. But we will come back strongly. There are two days ahead of us and they are still behind us, so who knows what will happen," said the West Indian coach.