WIndies Lose Richards Chasing 238

Responding to Bangladesh’s 238, West Indies lost the highly regarded opener, Dale Richards, for 13 late on the second day of the First Digicel Test at Arnos Vale and closed on 17 for one. Omar Phillips, who is not yet off the mark, and nightwatchman, Ryan Austin (1*), are at the crease.

A late order rally by Bangladesh pushed their score within the realm of mild respectability after they were tottering at 149 for 7. There were critical contributions of 39 from captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, batting at number 9 and 33 from fast bowler, Shahadat Hossain, batting at number 10.

The pair added 35 for the ninth wicket but it was the last wicket partnership of 31 between Shahadat and debutant, Rubel Hossain (3*), which really frustrated the home side as the total climbed well past 200.

Mortaza, debuting as captain, had earlier linked up with pocket-sized wicketkeeper, Mushfiqur Rahim, to move the score from 149 for 7 to 172 when Rahim fell for 36 from 81 deliveries with four boundaries. Only Mortaza’s 39 from 52 deliveries with 2 fours and 2 sixes topped Mushfiqur’s resolute effort.

A shared fast bowling effort led by 21 year-old rookie, Kemar Roach, and admirably supported by Tino Best and David Bernard Jr’s medium pace reduced Bangladesh to the pitiful 149 for 7 before the lower order doggedly battled their way to some decency.

Roach’s spell before tea was as good as any from any West Indian in recent memory. In the end, he finished with 3 for 46 from 23 overs, 11 of which were maidens. It was top class fast bowling undoubtedly worthy of Test classification.

Best and Bernard took a pair of wickets each for 58 and 30 runs respectively but it was Roach’s probing pace which left the visitors searching for the ball which consistently rocketed its way to wicketkeeper, Chadwick Walton, after beating the outside edge of uncertain Bangladeshi bats. And had ICC Elite Umpire, Tony Hill, not blundered on the final delivery before tea, Roach should have had Mortaza and sank Bangladesh even further in a hole.

The West Indies started their response positively with Richards, one of seven debutants for the Windies hitting an audacious six over mid wicket off Mortaza to get off the mark. He followed it up with rasping drives but fell to feisty left arm spinner, Shakib Al Hasan, who – somewhat astonishingly – was introduced into the attack in the fourth over of the innings. He trapped Richards lbw in his second over but Phillips and Austin saw it to the close without further alarm.

Earlier in the day Bangladesh’s progress was slowed by a persevering Windies bowling attack intent on measured accuracy. Starting on 42 without loss after a severely rain affected first day, the visiting side lost five wickets in two hours of play to reach 105 for 5 by lunch and lost another two wickets before the lower order played with a mixture of stubborn defence and cautious aggression.

It took Roach’s sizzling pace and probing line to engineer the end of the Bangladesh innings as he removed Mahmudullah (9) and Mortaza while Austin, the Barbadian off spinner picked up the final wicket – his first in Tests – when he had Shahadat caught by wicketkeeper Walton.

The West Indies are 221 behind with nine wickets in hand and, as they aim to surpass the Bangladesh total on Saturday, they will be heavily reliant on the seasoned Reifer, Dowlin, all rounders Bernard and Sammy and even Walton.