News Americas, DHAKA, Bangladesh, Mon. Feb. 15, 2021: The West Indies are champions again.
The team won the 2021 Bangabandhu Test Series over Bangladesh yesterday after sweeping the two-test series, much to the shock of Bangladeshis and the pleasant surprise of Windies fans.
An elated head coach Phil Simmons said Sunday the performance of the team exceeded even his expectations.
“It’s a joyous occasion. It’s an occasion which we haven’t been able to celebrate as a West Indies cricket team since 2012,” Simmons said in reference to the last time West Indies won two Tests away from home. “It’s just unbelievable. Words fail me right now but the joy that’s inside me right now is unbelievable.”
At the center of the success was batsman, Kyle Mayers who hit an unbeaten double hundred and fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner, who struck 86, as West Indies chased down 395 to win on the final day.
Bonner, adjudged Man-of-the-Series, shone again in the second Test here with 90 in the first innings and 38 in the second, with wicketkeeper batsman Joshua Da Silva, in only his second Test series, top-scoring with 92 also in the first innings.
With rookie spinners Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican – with just 15 Tests between them – also made an impact in the series.
The tour was the third undertaken by West Indies since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic following series in England and New Zealand last year.
Seventeen wickets tumbled on a dramatic fourth day as West Indies snatched a nerve-jangling 17-run victory to edge Bangladesh in the second Test and complete a truly astonishing series whitewash.
Staring defeat in the face after they crashed from their overnight 41 for three to 117 all out in their second innings, West Indies bowlers turned the game on its head by knocking over Bangladesh for 213 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium as the hosts fell just short of the modest target of 231.
No such climax was envisioned when West Indies resumed the penultimate day with a lead of 154 runs but left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (5-36) and off-spinner Nayeem Islam (3-34) ripped apart the innings.
Man-of-the-Series Bonner was unbeaten on eight at the start and top-scored with 38 while wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva got 20 but West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 67 runs, about 25 minutes after lunch.
Left with just under five sessions to steal a share of the series honors, Bangladesh seemed on course for victory when they raced to 70 for one with tea beckoning.
Opener Tamim Iqbal struck an aggressive 50, captain Mominul Haque got 26 and Liton Das 22 but Bangladesh’s batsmen failed to convert starts and the last nine wickets went down for 143 runs on either side of the interval.
Burly off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, in only his fourth Test, led West Indies’ charge with four for 105 to end the contest with nine wickets and emerge with Man-of-the-Match honours.
John Campbell (top) and substitute Kavem Hodge embrace Rahkeem Cornwall after the off-spinner took the final wicket to earn West Indies victory in the second Test.
He also snapped up three catches at slip, the last of which was a tumbling low catch which removed the dangerous Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 31, ended the match and West Indies’ nine-year wait for a Test series win on Bangladesh soil.
The victory with a day to spare completed a fairy-tale tour for the under-strength West Indies. Congrats Windies!