Spin­ners bat­ter Windies af­ter Mah­mudul­lah hun­dred

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Be­lea­guered West In­dies were left need­ing a mir­a­cle to avoid a his­toric se­ries de­feat af­ter yet again fail­ing to sur­vive a trial by spin, as Bangladesh took a stran­gle­hold on the sec­ond and fi­nal Test af­ter com­pletely dom­i­nat­ing the sec­ond day here yes­ter­day.

Be­hind Mah­mudul­lah’s ca­reer-best 136, cap­tain Shak­ibal-Hasan’s 80 and an at­tack­ing 54 from Li­ton Das, Bangladesh piled up a mam­moth 508 – their sec­ond high­est-ever to­tal against West In­dies – be­fore the in­nings folded half-hour af­ter tea at the Shere Bangla Na­tional Sta­dium.

Off-spin­ner Me­hidy Hasan then snatched three for 36 while Shakib sup­ported with two for 15 with his left-arm spin, to leave the West In­dies in­nings in strife at 29 for five.

It was left to rookie left-han­der Shim­ron Het­myer with an un­beaten 32 and wick­et­keeper Shane Dowrich, on 17 not out, to save West In­dies from to­tal em­bar­rass­ment and guide the in­nings to the close on 75 for five.

The pair have so far added a gutsy 46 in an un­bro­ken sixth wicket stand and with the Windies still trail­ing by 433 runs, much will lie on their shoul­ders on to­day’s day three as the last recog­nised bats­men.

Hav­ing suf­fered at the hands of the Bangladeshi spin­ners dur­ing their first Test de­feat in Chit­tagong last week­end, West In­dies fared lit­tle bet­ter in their at­tempt at re­demp­tion, as they were once again mes­merised by the slower bowlers.

All five dis­missals were bowled, mark­ing the first time in 128 years bowlers had achieved the feat.

Stand-in cap­tain Kraigg Brath­waite’s wretched run con­tin­ued when he fell to the sixth ball of the in­nings, bowled through the gate by Shakib with­out a run on the board.

His left-handed open­ing part­ner Kieran Pow­ell sur­vived 15 de­liv­er­ies be­fore he too fol­lowed in sim­i­lar fash­ion, bowled be­tween bat and pad by Me­hidy for four and Su­nil Am­bris’s charge at Shakib was as des­per­ate as it was am­bi­tious, and he missed the drive and was also bowled for seven.

Three balls later in the next over, Shai Hope’s 30-ball grind over 10 came to an end when he be­came the fourth bowled vic­tim of the in­nings by one from Me­hidy which crept from back of a length and hit the base of off­s­tump.

When Ros­ton Chase played down the wrong line first ball and lost his off-stump to Me­hidy, West In­dies were falling apart spec­tac­u­larly.

But as they did in the first Test, Het­myer and Dowrich once again came to the Caribbean side’s res­cue, re­sist­ing the Bangladeshi spin as­sault for the re­main­der of the ses­sion.

The 21-year-old Het­myer has so far struck three fours in a typ­i­cally breezy 43-ball in­nings while Dowrich has opted for the sheet an­chor role in a knock that has lasted 37 balls and in­cluded a sin­gle bound­ary.

Het­myer suf­fered a scare on 10 when he was ad­judged lbw to 17-year-old off-spin­ner Nay­eem Hasan be­fore find­ing a re­prieve cour­tesy DRS. He car­ried on seem­ingly un­fazed, how­ever, us­ing his feet to the spin­ners and find­ing boundaries down the ground.

Ear­lier, West In­dies bowlers toiled in frus­tra­tion as Bangladesh, start­ing the day on 259 for five, bat­ted them­selves into a near im­preg­nable po­si­tion.

Mah­mudul­lah, un­beaten on 31 at the start, pro­duced a mag­nif­i­cent in­nings which spanned 6-¼ hours, 242 de­liv­er­ies and in­cluded 10 fours.

Piv­otally, he stretched his overnight sixth wicket stand with Shakib to 111, keep­ing West In­dies with­out any early suc­cess and see­ing Bangladesh past the 300-run mark.

The left-handed Shakib played freely af­ter re­sum­ing on 55, tak­ing three con­sec­u­tive boundaries off off-spin­ner Chase in the morn­ing’s fourth over, be­fore falling three overs later when he edged a loose drive at seamer Ke­mar Roach (2-61) and was caught at gully.

That break­through failed to im­prove the Windies for­tunes as Mah­mudul­lah and Das com­bined in a 92-run, seventh wicket part­ner­ship, which pro­pelled

Left-han­der Shim­ron Het­myer lead­ing the Windies fight­back

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