It was a day of records with bat and ball for hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan but eventually, the visitors will be happier after putting on 271-5 after the first day on the one-off Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Rahmat Shah led the way with the bat with a century, the first in Test history by an Afghan batsman, while Taijul Islam picked up a couple of wickets in the morning session to reach 100 Test wickets.
The left-arm finger-spinner became the third Bangladeshi to reach the milestone and did it by playing the fewest Tests.
Asghar Afghan stood firm on 88 not out at the end of the day’s play from 160 balls in a solid 74-run sixth-wicket partnership with Afsar Zazai (35*).
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan won the toss and new captain Rashid Khan decided to bat first as his opposite number Shakib Al Hasan once again opted for an all-spin bowling attack.
The hosts got off to a good start when Taijul took the wickets of Ishanullah (19) and Ibrahim Zadran (21).
Things continued to go the home side’s way when Mahmudullah came into bowl and dismissed Hashmatullah Shahidi for 14 and Afghanistan were reduced to 77-3 as the teams headed in for lunch.
Things changed in the second session as Afghanistan counter-attacked the spinners and put on 114 runs without losing a wicket.
It was an excellent batting performance from Afghan and Rahmat as both neared individual milestones of a half-century and a century respectively at Tea.
After Tea Rahmat brought up his maiden century from 186 balls in an innings that had 10 fours and two maximums but was then dismissed by off-spinner Nayeem Hasan. In the last ball of the same over - the 70th - Nayeem rattled the stumps of new batsman Mohammad Nabi to bring the Tigers back in the game with Afghanistan at 197-5.
From there, it was once again solid batting that saw the visitors end the day as the happier side on a pitch that didn’t offer much for the bowlers so far.
Afghanistan will be hoping to continue batting well and post a total in excess of 400 while Bangladesh will look to take early morning wickets and get in to bat with favorable batting conditions on day two.