DHAKA, Bangladesh – Ottis Gibson said Bangladesh’s fight-back in the first Test against West Indies failed to surprise him.
The Windies coach said the nature of the pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium led him to believe it would have been hard work for his side’s bowlers to get the better of the Bangladeshis, if they applied themselves to batting.
The visitors’ bowlers toiled long and hard, but Naeem Islam fashioned a workmanlike, maiden Test hundred of 108 that anchored the Tigers to 455 for six at the close on the third day, still trailing by 72 on first innings.
“When we looked at the way the pitch played during our innings, we recognised it was a flat pitch and our declaration was based on the belief that we would need more time at the back-end of the game to force a result,” said Gibson.
He added: “We could make 600, but we would still need to have enough time to bowl them out twice and win the match. There is not much in the pitch for either pace or spin.
“We knew that the guys would have to work hard to get wickets – and if we wanted to get 20 wickets, we needed time more than runs to be able to bowl them out.”
Only 10 wickets have fallen in the match for 982 runs, the highest aggregate ever in the first two innings of a Test in Bangladesh – but Gibson said there was still time remaining in the match for either side to create an opportunity to win.
“There are still two more days to go and I would like to think that Bangladesh would think they can still win,” he said.
“If they targetted to draw the match then it would be a negative situation. They have played really well and I would like to think that would give them confidence that they could win the match.
“But we came here to play Test matches and win them. There are still two days ahead of us and they are still behind us, so who knows what will happen.”