(CMC) – The burden of a Herculean run chase was thrusted onto the inexperienced shoulders of debutants Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner, after West Indies lost three wickets in the final session on yesterday’s penultimate day, to leave Bangladesh as heavy favourites to win the opening Test.
Set an improbable 395 for victory, West Indies slumped to 59 for three before being revived by Mayers and Bonner who put on 51 in a resilient unbroken fourth-wicket stand, to carry their side to the close on 110 without further loss.
Mayers, who made 40 in the first innings, was unbeaten on a breezy 37 that has so far included seven fours and needed only 50 deliveries while Bonner anchored the partnership in a patient 63-ball 15 not out.
Dangerous off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz, whose first innings hundred gave the hosts’ an all-important foothold in the contest at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, rolled over the top order in a spell of three for 52 as openers John Campbell (23) and Kraigg Brathwaite (20) got starts but failed to carry on.
Captain Mominul Haque had earlier struck his 10th Test hundred and his seventh at the venue as Bangladesh, resuming on 47 for three, declared their second innings on 223 for eight, just following the first hour’s play after lunch.
On 31 at the start, the left-hander carved out 115 in a knock spanning 182 balls, just short of 4-¾ hours and which included 10 fours.
It was his 133-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Liton Das which enhanced Bangladesh’s grip on the game, as West Indies struggled to build on their momentum of the previous evening.
Liton made 69 off 112 balls in a shade under 2-¼ hours, striking five fours.
The pair came together nearly 45 minutes into the morning when Mushfiqur Rahim, resuming on 10, missed a cut at one that spun back and was lbw to off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (3-81) for 18.
Together, Mominul and Liton blunted the West Indies attack to take the hosts to 149 for four at lunch, as the bowlers toiled without success and were forced to resort to Bonner’s unpractised leg-spin and the part-time off-spin of Brathwaite.
On 83 at the interval, Mominul raised three figures approaching the first hour with a single to cover off Cornwall but lost Liton soon afterwards, the right-hander picking out point with a reverse sweep off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (3-57).
Mominul perished in the next over, holing out to Kemar Roach on the ropes at mid-wicket off speedster Shannon Gabriel, with Bangladesh pushing for quick runs.
Warrican then bowled both Taijul Islam (3) and Mehidy (7) in one over to trigger the declaration as the hosts lost four wickets for 17 runs in quick time.
Left with just over half-hour to navigate before tea, Brathwaite and Campbell took West Indies to the break on 18 without loss, and extended the partnership to 39 before being separated.
Campbell had struck four boundaries in a positive 50-ball knock when he missed a sweep and was adjudged lbw and Brathwaite followed in Mehidy’s next over after facing 53 deliveries, brilliantly caught by a diving substitute Yasir Ali at short leg
When debutant left-hander Shayne Moseley played back to the 12th delivery he faced and was hit plumb in front for 12 by one that kept low, West Indies seemed in danger of imploding.
But Mayers arrived to stem the tide, cutting and driving with authority to dominate the partnership with Bonner and keep alive West Indies’ slim hopes of avoiding defeat today, the final day.
BANGLADESH 1st innings 430
WEST INDIES 1st innings 259
BANGLADESH 2nd innings (overnight 47 for three)
Shadman Islam c wkp. Da Silva b Gabriel 5
Tamim Iqbal lbw b Cornwall 0
Najmul Hossain Shanto c Blackwood b Cornwall 0
Mominul Haque c Roach b Gabriel 115
Mushfiqur Rahim lbw b Cornwall 18
Liton Das c Mayers b Warrican 69
Mehidy Hasan Miraz b Warrican 7
Taijul Islam b Warrican 3
Nayeem Hasan not out 1
Extras: (w-1, nb-4) 5
Total: (8 wkts decl, 67.5 overs) 223
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-1, 3-33, 4-73, 5-206, 6-214, 7-222, 8-223.
Bowling: Roach 7-1-17-0 (nb-1), Cornwall 27-2-81-3, Gabriel 12-0-37-2, Warrican 17.5-0-57-3 (nb-2), Bonner 2-0-13-0 (nb-1), Brathwaite 1-0-7-0, Mayers 1-0-1-0.
WEST INDIES 2nd innings (target: 395)
- Brathwaite c sub. (Yasir Ali) b Mehidy Hasan Miraz20
- Campbell lbw b Mehidy Hasan Miraz 23
- Moseley lbw b Mehidy Hasan Miraz 12
- Bonner not out 15
- Mayers not out 37
Extras: (b-1, lb-2) 3
Total: (3 wkts, 40 overs) 110
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-48, 3-59.
Bowling: Mustafizur Rahman 4-1-14-0, Taijul Islam 13-8-12-0, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 16-2-52-3, Nayeem Hasan 7-1-29-0.
Position: West Indies require a further 285 runs for victory with seven wickets intact.