News Americas, DHAKA, Bangladesh, Fri. Feb. 12, 2021: Can the West Indies pull off another win against Bangladesh?
That’s the question as the Windies try to increase their lead of 223 without losing another of their five wickets today.
Strokemaker Nkrumah Bonner has stepped up to shoulder the burden. He struck his second half-century in as many innings to inspire a West Indies recovery on the opening day of the second Test against Bangladesh on Thursday.
Fresh from his match-winning 86 in Chattogram five days ago, the 32-year-old followed up with an unbeaten 74 as West Indies climbed to 223 for five at the close at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. His knock proved especially invaluable especially after West Indies stumbled after lunch losing three wickets for 29 runs to tumble to 116 for four.
Bonner then anchored the innings with two crucial partnerships which frustrated Bangladesh in the last session-and-a half of the day, and helped West Indies regain their balance. Captain Kraigg Brathwaite missed out on a well deserved half-century with 47 while his left-handed opening partner John Campbell got 36.
Jermaine Blackwood chipped with 28 and wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva was unbeaten on 22 at the end in partnership with Bonner.
With memories of their historic first Test win still fresh in their memory, the Caribbean side started well after winning the toss, with Brathwaite and Campbell posting 66 for the first wicket to keep the hosts without success in the first hour.
Brathwaite, once again showing positive intent, counted four fours in an innings spanning 122 deliveries in a shade over 2-¾ hours to reach lunch on 39.
Campbell, meanwhile, faced 68 deliveries in just under 1-½ hours while belting five fours and a six. He was given out on 13, lbw to Abu in the morning’s ninth over but was reprieved via DRS.
He was not so fortunate about half-hour before lunch when he missed a sweep at a full length delivery from Taijul and adjudged lbw.
Brathwaite and Shayne Moseley took West Indies to lunch on 84 for one but the left-handed Moseley (7) added just one to his interval score before perishing in the fifth over afterwards, edging a drive at a wide delivery onto his stumps.
His dismissal set in train a slide for West Indies as Brathwaite and first Test hero Kyle Mayers (5) fell in a period where Bangladesh took control of the game.
Brathwaite was nearing his 21st Test fifty when he gifted his wicket, caught at first slip edging a cut an innocuous delivery from part-time seamer Soumya Sarkar.
Mayers, entering with the fireworks of his unbeaten double hundred in Chattogram still hovering, lasted only 18 balls before departing, nicking a drive at Abu to Soumya at first slip.
With the innings falling away, Bonner stepped up as he did in last week’s first Test, posting 62 for the fifth wicket with Blackwood to deny Bangladesh any further success before tea, before adding 45 in an unbroken sixth wicket partnership with Da Silva in the final session.
Exuding confidence, Bonner swept and cut Taijul for boundaries to move into double figures and followed up by disdainfully lifting the same bowler to the straight boundary a few overs later.
On 30 at tea with West Indies on 146 for four, Bonner reached his half-century about 40 minutes after the resumption, with a single to long off off Taijul.
Given out lbw to Mehidy on 57 only to be let off by DRS, Bonner has so far hit half-dozen fours off 173 deliveries.
Blackwood, unbeaten on 18 at tea, perished on the stroke of the first hour afterwards when he punched a simple catch back to Taijul after facing 77 balls and striking five fours.
However, any hopes of running through the lower order were stifled as Da Silva, who has faced 46 balls and notched a single four, proved immovable.
Seamer Abu Jayed, who replaced Mustafizur Rahman in the attack, led with two for 46 for Bangladesh, while left-arm spinner Taijul Islam picked two for 64 but champion off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who shared the new ball, went wicket-less.