Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bangladesh v West Indies

With all the fuss of Australia's spirited fight back and moral victory in Brisbane, the fact that three other Test series start in the same week was distant in importance for Australian cricket followers.

Keiran Powel made 117
The first of those series started in Dhaka as Clarke was belting his way to his double century on the last day against South Africa. Bangladesh are hosting a West Indies side that has been bolstered by a good series away to England and an even better one at home against New Zealand. Darren Sammy has Verasammy Permaul to his bowling lineup: the left arm orthodox partnering Sunil Narine in the spin duties. With Ravi Rampaul back from injury on a more regular basis and the energetic Tino Best sharing the new ball, it only left Sammy to provide the fifth bowler. To field this bowling line up, the West Indies have gambled on six batsmen, with wicket keeper Dinesh Ramdin holding down the number six spot.

Bangaldesh don't play Test cricket very often - their last outing being nearly twelve months ago - and with only a limited palette of players to paint with, the faces don't change that often. One new face is appearing in the First Test: Sohag Gazi, an off spinner who is a graduate of the Bangladesh Cricket Academy. He is one of three frontline spinners the Bangers have chosen against the Windies.

Darren Sammy won the toss and batted and at 3-106, with a long tail ready to drop off like panicked skint, his side was in a spot of trouble on the stroke of lunch. Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels had all come and gone, Gayle and Bravo to reckless slaps against the debutante Gazi. It was quite a morning for the 21 year old, opening the bowling with success and also catching Samuels.

Ramdin & Chanderpaul
added 296 unbeaten
From there, Shiv Chanderpaul gave a batting masterclass which started with not taking the bowlers for granted. Simply giving them respect gave him control and the little man with the ugly stance is rarely hurried or flustered. By the end of the first day he had reached his hundred, partnering Keiran Powell in a fourth wicket stand of 125, whilst the classy left hander reached his third Test hundred. He is starting to keep his promises. The West Indies batted for two more sessions on the second day with no further loss of wickets allowing Sammy to declare at 4-527. Chanderpaul had raised his second double century and equalled his highest Test score, the 203 not out against South Africa in Bourda, seven years ago. Ramdin raised his third Test hundred, only three innings after the controversial hundred at Edgbaston and his message to Sir Viv. Their partnership of 296 is the highest for any wicket at the ground.

Bangladesh started in a similar fashion, racing to 3-119, thanks to a run a ball 72 by Tamim Iqbal with Ravi Rampaul and Sammy sharing the wickets. Nareem and Shakib steading things until stumps. On a dead track, perfect for the wristy batsmen Bangladesh have, there is is still every reason to believe they can at least avoid the follow on.