GROS ISLET: West Indies wasted no time on a day when more than five hours were lost to the elements to complete a 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh on the fourth day of the second and final Test in St Lucia on Monday.
Frustrated by torrential overnight showers which left a sodden outfield and prevented play until mid-afternoon, the home side claimed the last four wickets swiftly despite an entertaining, unbeaten 60 by Nurul Hasan to dismiss the visitors for 186 in their second innings after they had resumed in the already precarious position of 132 for six.
That left captain Kraigg Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell with the formality of knocking off the 13 runs required for victory in less than three overs for another comprehensive triumph and a 2-0 sweep of the series.
“Our confidence levels were very high coming into this game after that win in the first Test,” Brathwaite said.
“There is always room for improvement but it was good to see the way we fought back from a difficult position against the Bangladesh bowlers on the second day.
“It is especially pleasing to see our plans coming to fruition now because we know it’s going to be very tough for our next Test series in Australia at the end of year but we believe we can put up a good fight there,” he added.
It extended the West Indies’ Test match winning streak to three matches following a series-clinching victory over England at the end of the series in Grenada three months earlier.
Any fears of being frustrated by lower-order resistance from Bangladesh dissipated within minutes of play getting underway as Alzarri Joseph had Mehidy Hasan Miraz caught behind fending at a lifting delivery.
Nurul, who impressed with a second innings century in the seven-wicket defeat in the first Test in Antigua a week earlier, seemed to get into white ball mode with a succession of extravagant shots, his unbeaten half-century coming off just 50 balls and embellished by six fours and two sixes.
Yet as impressive as he was when on strike, the wicket-keeper-batter was powerless to prevent the demise of his team-mates as Jayden Seales removed Ebadot Hossain and Shoriful Islam while last man Khaled Ahmed was run out by a direct hit from Campbell to the non-striker’s end to terminate another generally meek Bangladesh batting effort.
Joseph, Seales and Kemar Roach claimed three wickets each in the innings.
For Shakib al Hasan, back in the role of captain after a lengthy period off the Test side, this experience opened his eyes to possibilities.
“We have a long break before our next Test series so we need to take the positives, especially the encouraging performances of our fast bowlers, and make sure we are ready in five months’ time,” he said.
“We need to be mentally tougher in our batting to compete with the best teams in the world, but our greatest improvement in the last three-four years has been with our fast bowlers.
“So while the fast bowlers are working really hard and getting the results, we need to improve overall as a team to be more competitive in Test cricket away from home.”
Both sides now adjust for the white ball formats with the three-match T20 International series starting next Sunday in Dominica after which they will meet in three One-day Internationals.
BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 234
WEST INDIES (1st Innings) 408
BANGLADESH (2nd Innings, overnight 132-6):
Tamim Iqbal c Da Silva b Roach 4
Mahmudul Hasan c Blackwood b Roach 13
Najmul Hossain c Da Silva b Joseph 42
Anamul Haque lbw b Roach 4
Liton Das lbw b Seales 19
Shakib al Hasan c Campbell b Joseph 16
Nurul Hasan not out 60
Mehidy Hasan c Da Silva b Joseph 4
Ebadot Hossain c Reifer b Seales 0
Shoriful Islam lbw b Seales 0
Khaled Ahmed run out (Campbell) 0
EXTRAS (B-9, LB-1, NB-3, W-11) 24
TOTAL (all out, 45 overs) 186
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Tamim), 2-22 (Mahmudul), 3-32 (Anamul), 4-57 (Liton), 5-104 (Najmul), 6-118 (Shakib), 7-148 (Mehidy), 8-169 (Ebadot), 174-9 (Shoriful)
BOWLING: Roach 13-1-54-3 (1nb), Joseph 14-2-57-3 (2w), Phillip 5-1-23-0 (1nb), Seales 8-2-21-3 (1nb, 1w), Mayers 5-1-21-0
WEST INDIES (2nd Innings):
K. Brathwaite not out 4
J. Campbell not out 9
TOTAL (for no wicket, 2.5 overs) 13
DID NOT BAT: R. Reifer, N. Bonner, J. Blackwood, K. Mayers, A. Joseph, K. Roach, A. Phillip, J. Seales
BOWLING: Ebadot 1.5-0-9-0, Khaled 1-0-4-0
RESULT: West Indies won by 10 wickets
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022