AFP| Shannon Gabriel completed his third five-wicket haul in five innings as the West Indies completed a crushing victory over Bangladesh by an innings and 219 runs just before lunch on the third day of the first Test in Antigua on Friday.
Wicketless in the demolition of the tourists for their lowest Test innings score, 43, on the opening morning, Gabriel started the wrecking job in the second innings with four wickets on the fourth evening.
He then bowled Kamrul Islam when play resumed to finish with five for 77 as the Bangladeshis were dismissed for 144 to hand the home side their largest innings victory ever in a Test in the Caribbean.
However the morning’s honours at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium went to Nurul Islam.
The Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman blazed his way to 64, a maiden Test half-century in just his second match, and holding up the West Indies in the push for a victory that looked likely to be completed in a matter of minutes from the start of play.
Nurul reached his fifty off just 36 balls, the fastest-ever by a Bangladesh player in a Test away from home, and actually belted the otherwise dangerous Gabriel out of the attack by taking 16 runs off the fast bowler’s 12th over.
It took Miguel Cummins to end the innings and the match with the lunch interval approaching as he had Nurul caught and bowled before scattering the stumps of Rubel Hossain in the next over to finally complete the triumph that looked a mere formality at the start of the day.
For Bangladesh captain Shakib al Hasan, it was a tough return to the helm in the traditional format of the game.
“We need to adapt better to these conditions,” he admitted.
“It is not something we are familiar with but we have to spend the next five days getting ready for a similar situation when the next Test begins.”
– ‘More clinical’ –
That second and final Test of the brief series begins July 12 in Kingston, Jamaica where another green, fast bowler-friendly track is expected to be prepared in keeping with the trend of playing surfaces starting with the drawn three-Test series against Sri Lanka.
“We were disappointed after losing the last Test of the series against Sri Lanka a week ago so that gave us some additional motivation,” said West Indies captain Jason Holder in assessing his team’s ability to rebound from defeat in Barbados in the finale to the Sri Lankan campaign.
“We needed to be a little more clinical in the second innings but I am looking now to us setting the tone again for the second Test.”
Holder certainly meant business at the start of the day with the visitors resuming at 62 for six when, after delivering a wide first ball, he had Mahmudullah well caught low down at third slip for his third wicket of the innings.
A quick finish then looked certain when Gabriel breached Kamrul’s defences to have Bangladesh tottering at 88 for eight.
But Nurul found determined support from Rubel in a surprising ninth-wicket partnership of 55 that left Holder and his teammates more than a little frustrated with the captain introducing spin for the first time in the match through Devendra Bishoo and Roston Chase without reward.
It took the re-introduction of Cummins into the attack to make the breakthrough with an effort that is likely to ensure his retention for the Sabina Park Test, especially with “Man of the Match” Kemar Roach under a fitness cloud after injury prevented him from bowling in the second innings.
“I am confident whenever I play against Bangladesh,” said in Roach in reflecting on his devastating first innings performance when he finished with figures of five for eight, the five wickets coming in the space of 12 balls.
“There’s a lot of assistance from the pitches but we have also been working hard on our games with bowling coach, Corey Collymore.”
Roach started his Test career against the Bangladeshis in 2009, a series in the Caribbean which the visitors dominated at the expense of a home side severely depleted by the absence of the entire first-choice squad in the midst of a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Now though, the circumstances are very different and even if Roach is sidelined for the second Test, it will require a massive turnaround in form for Bangladesh to be competitive against these same opponents in a week’s time.
AFP| Bangladesh were sliding towards a massive innings defeat after the West Indies completely dominated the second day of the first Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday.
After Kraigg Brathwaite’s seventh Test hundred anchored the West Indies first innings total of 406 to give the home side a first innings lead of 363, Shannon Gabriel compensated for a wicketless effort on the opening day with figures of four for 36 to reduce the visitors to 62 for six in their second turn at the crease by the close of play.
Routed for just 43, their lowest-ever Test innings total, in the first innings, the Bangladeshis still need another 301 runs just to make the West Indies bat again going into day three.
That looks an impossible prospect in conditions which are completely alien to them and in which the home side’s quartet of fast bowlers has revelled.
But for a no-ball delivered by Miguel Cummins in the last over of the day when he could have claimed the wicket of Mahmudullah, the West Indies would have had the option of requesting an additional half-hour at the end of the day to finish off the match.
It leaves Mahmudullah to resume on the third morning with wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan, although it will be merely delaying the inevitable given the struggles of the Bangladeshis in coping with the pace and bounce of their West Indian opponents in seamer-friendly conditions.
Jason Holder took the other two wickets, sharing the new ball with the fiery Gabriel in the absence of Kemar Roach, who initiated the demolition of the Bangladesh first innings with outstanding figures of five for eight but was troubled by what appeared to be a muscular strain at the back of his right knee during that effort.
He showed no discomfort though in an innings of 33 and a partnership of 58 with Shai Hope for the eighth wicket.
However the bulk of the batting effort for the West Indies was provided by the erstwhile Brathwaite, who occupied the crease for over seven hours – from before lunch on day one to just after lunch on day two – in compiling 121.
Hope ensured the West Indies middle-order didn’t buckle completely.
Resuming at the overnight position of 201 for two with Brathwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo at the crease, they suffered a mini-collapse in early afternoon when losing three wickets for 16 runs.
That was the only period in the Test match so far when the Bangladeshis appeared to be holding any sort of initiative as spinners Mehidy Hasan and Shakib al Hasan posed significant challenges.
However Hope showed his class in an innings of 67 and by the time he was ninth out with the score at 400, the only question was whether or not the West Indies could have been as ruthless as in the first innings to finish the match inside two days.
Gabriel’s raw pace was too hot to handle for the Bangladesh top-order as he claimed the prized scalps of Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Shakib al Hasan to lift his tally of Test wickets in this Caribbean season to 24 in four matches.
AFP | Kraigg Brathwaite completed a seventh Test century as the West Indies turned the screws on Bangladesh on the second day of the first Test in Antigua on Thursday.
The Windies reached 271 for three in reply to the tourists’ first innings total of 43 at lunch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
They resume in the afternoon session with the phlegmatic opener unbeaten on 121 in partnership with Shai Hope (14 not out) and the home side already ahead by 128 runs with eight first innings wickets in hand.
Under no pressure to accelerate the game after Kemar Roach had led the pacers’ demolition of the tourists for their lowest Test innings total ever on day one, Brathwaite progressed at a snail’s pace on the second morning.
He added 33 runs in two hours’ play with the West Indies advancing overall by 70 runs from their overnight position of 201 for two.
Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo was the lone casualty for the hosts as he was bowled by Kamrul Islam for 19 after yet again making an important contribution in support of the senior batsman.
Their third-wicket partnership was worth 52 runs and Brathwaite reached the century landmark along the way via a rare expression of aggression in slashing a short, wide delivery from Kamrul to the backward point boundary.
His innings of almost seven hours has so far occupied 289 deliveries, embellished with 11 fours.
None of the Bangladeshi seamers have so far been able to come even close to replicating Roach’s outstanding effort on day one.
He returned figures of five for eight – all the wickets coming within the space of 12 balls – to wreck the visitors’ innings after they were put in.
Of concern for the West Indies though will be the discomfort he appeared to feel behind his right knee even as he was scything through the opponents’ top order.