GROS ISLET: Bangladesh picked up two early wickets but Kyle Mayers ensured the West Indies were still able to extend their first innings lead on a rain-shortened third morning of the second and final Test at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Sunday.
Resuming at the overnight position of 340 for five in reply to the tourists’ first innings total of 234, the home side reached 376 for seven with Mayers unbeaten on 140 when showers swept across the ground after 40 minutes’ play and grew in intensity to prevent any more play before the lunch interval.
Spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and seamer Khaled Ahmed took a wicket each in the time available although Mayers continued to play fluently with the left-hander set to resume in partnership with lower-order player Kemar Roach when conditions improve sufficiently for play to get underway again.
Frustrated on the second day when they only picked up one wicket after lunch with the Caribbean side labouring at 137 for four, Bangladesh enjoyed early success on the third morning under cloudy skies when Joshua da Silva fell lbw to Mehidy for 29 as he missed an attempted sweep in the day’s second over.
Alzarri Joseph stroked a boundary to get his innings going but then ambition got the better of him when he miscued an attempted pull at Khaled and Liton Das held the comfortable catch at midwicket.
Mayers’ second Test century — both against Bangladesh — has so far spanned five hours in which the left-hander has faced 203 deliveries, stroking 17 fours and two sixes.
Mehidy (three for 82) and Khaled (three for 92) have been the best of the Bangladesh bowlers so far.
Earlier on the second day, The hosts were in a dominant position, leading by 106 runs as they bid to win the two-match series 2-0.
Having come to the crease just before lunch with his side stuttering at 132 for four in reply to the tourists’ 234, Mayers’ positive manner dominated the rest of the day as he finished unbeaten on 126.
His century came off 180 balls and embellished with 15 fours and two sixes.
That second six took him to the three-figure mark and sets the stage for even more of his left-handed aggression with da Silva, the wicketkeeper having contributed 26 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 92.
That partnership, which grew in momentum against an increasingly dispirited Bangladesh bowling attack, followed on the excellent work of Mayers and Jermaine Blackwood, who rescued an uncertain situation for the home side with a 116-run fifth-wicket stand.
Bangladesh were wicketless in the afternoon session, although Blackwood fell just after tea, leg-before for 40, the second wicket of spinner Mehidy Hasan.
Having stumbled to lunch at 137 for four, Mayers and Blackwood batted through the afternoon as if it were a different game.
Mayers, who will always be remembered for a historic unbeaten 210 on debut in a victory chase of 395 against the same opponents in Chattogram last February, was most impressive in his off-side play.
Blackwood, in contrast, batted with admirable discipline in a noted transformation from the reckless abandon which defined much of his batting prior to 2022.
BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 234
WEST INDIES (1st Innings, overnight, 340-5):
K. Brathwaite b Mehidy 51
J. Campbell c Nurul b Shoriful 45
R. Reifer b Khaled 22
N. Bonner b Khaled 0
J. Blackwood lbw b Mehidy 40
K. Mayers not out 140
J. Da Silva lbw b Mehidy 29
A. Joseph c Liton b Khaled 6
K. Roach not out 7
EXTRAS (B-9, LB-23, NB-4) 36
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 116 overs) 376
STILL TO BAT: J.Seales, A. Phillip
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-100 (Campbell), 2-131 (Brathwaite), 3-131 (Reifer), 4-132 (Bonner), 5-248 (Blackwood), 6-344 (Da Silva), 7-363 (Joseph)
BOWLING: Shoriful 17-6-67-1, Khaled 26-1-93-3 (1nb), Shakib
18-5-46-0 (1nb), Ebadot 19-6-56-0 (2nb), Mehidy 36-8-82-3
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2022