Miraz all-round show keep Bangladesh aloft over West Indies


CHATTORGAM, Feb 5, 2021 (BSS)—After his maiden century, Mehidy Hasan Miraz played a key role in bowling too to keep Bangladesh aloft over West Indies in the opening game of the two-match Test series at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.

Miraz followed his 103, with 4-58 as Bangladesh ended the day three game with a handy 218 runs lead, despite being in trouble in the second innings that saw them reduced to 47-3 at stumps.

Captain Mominul Haque was batting on 31 with senior batsman Mushfiqur Rahim 10.

On an increasingly deteriorating pitch, where spinners get considerable assistance and uneven bounce played its part, any kind of target in fourth innings would be tricky one.

Miraz dazzled with bowling to help Bangladesh earn 171-run first innings lead, bowling West Indies out for 259.

He was ably supported by Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam and fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman who all took two wickets apiece on a day when Bangladesh was without the service of Shakib Al Hasan.

The ace all-rounder sustained a fresh injury on his thigh that left him out of the ground on day three.

West Indies Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite scored highest 76 and led the charge after his side resumed the day on 75-2.

The captain’s innings was vital in resisting Bangladesh spinners as they came all guns blazing despite the absence of Shakib.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam broke through on the opening delivery, dismissing Nkrumah Bonner for his overnight 17. But Brathwaite led the repair job, sharing a 55-run partnership with debutant Kyle Mayers.

Bangladesh spinners got considerable assistance from the pitch but Brathwaite and Mayers were fluent in the crease, with a solid approach of counterattacking anything came to their way.

Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan ended the threatening partnership, removing Brathwaite, who was unable to judge a delivery that spun sharply to rattle his stumps. Brathwaite’s innings included 11 boundaries.

Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan, who scored his maiden Test century on day two, claimed Mayers for 40 with a modest delivery to take the first of his four wickets.

West Indies, at 154-5, was in real trouble but Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva kept the side in the contest, sharing 99-run for the sixth wicket.

West Indies collapsed after losing those two batsmen in the space of four balls.

Nayeem Hasan dismissed Da Silva for 42 with a delivery that kept low and Mehidy brought an end to Blackwood’s stubborn 68-run knock.

Mehidy then cleaned up the tail as West Indies lost its last five wickets for six runs in 23 deliveries.

With 171-run deficit, off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall gave West Indies some hope, dealing a double strike in just second over, dismissing opener Tamim Iqbal and Najmul Hossain, both for 0 that left Bangladesh 1-2.

Fast Shanon Gabriel then undid Opener Shadman Islam for 5 with a short-pitched delivery with Bangladesh at 3-33.

Mominul, 31 not out, and Mushfiqur Rahim (10 not out) resisted further collapse to keep Bangladesh unscathed.