Bangladesh ceased the advantage on a rain curtailed third day of the Second Digicel Test at the Grenada National Stadium as they hunt their first overseas Test series victory following a lone series triumph on home soil in 2005 against Zimbabwe.
After an even first half of the game, the West Indies commenced day three on 56 for 1 but by the time rain finally interrupted the proceedings at the tea interval they had lost an additional seven wickets for 136 runs.
Scores: West Indies 237 (Travis Dowlin 95, Dale Richard 69, Mahmudullah 3 for 44) and 192 for 8 (David Bernard 61*, Dowlin 49, Shakib Al Hasan 4 for 61); Bangladesh 232 (Mushfiqur Rahim 48, Raqibul Hasan 44, Kemar Roach 6 for 48)
Only 42.2 overs were possible on a day when the Windies batsmen needed to dominate and post a substantial total which the bowlers could then defend as they search for a series levelling win. Instead, barring Bernard who is not out on 61 and Dowlin who fell one shy of a half century, they played with an alarming casualness.
West Indies are effectively 197 runs ahead when their five run first innings lead is added to the 192 for 8 they have mustered so far in the second innings. When Bangladesh asked them to bat on day one, the home side – led by Dowlin’s 95 – scored 237. Bangladesh’s response was limited to 232 by Kemar Roach’s career best six wicket haul.
On day three, the West Indies lost four wickets before lunch and another three after, as the Bangladeshi spinners – Shakib Al Hasan, Enamul Haque Jr and Mahmudullah – continued to dominate the Windies batting save for the resistance from Bernard and Dowlin who have both shown an aptitude for batting for long periods and the ability to counteract persistently accurate spin. The pair batted with a focussed determination which was patently absent in the approach of the other batsmen, as rain prevented the second session from commencing on time and caused the entire final session to be abandoned.
Left handed opener Omar Phillips, 17 not out overnight, added 12 runs before he lofted a catch straight to deep backward point to leave the score 72 for 2. Ryan Hinds (2) and Floyd Reifer (3) – upon whom much batting responsibility lie – followed each other quickly back to the pavilion to leave the score 95 for 4 as Dowlin (23 not out overnight) pressed ahead. When he reached 49 though Dowlin padded up while offering no shot to rookie spinner Enamul and though he was struck outside the line of off stump, umpire Tony Hill called an end to the feisty innings of the 32 year old Guyanese right hander.
The score was then reduced to 110 for 6, but a half century partnership between Bernard and Sammy (22) pushed the score to 166 as the Windies hopes began to revive. A crushing blow followed when Sammy surrendered to exuberance over caution.
At that point – after facing 50 deliveries and hitting 2 fours – Sammy pulled Enamul to Raqibul Hasan at mid wicket. Two more wickets – Chadwick Walton (1) and Ryan Austin (3) – pegged the Windies back and now leave them in realistic danger of losing back-to-back Tests if the weather allows over the next two days.