Wednesday, April 24, 2024

West Indies dominate the opening day of first Test


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North Sound – Spurred by their two youngest pacers, Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph, West Indies grabbed an early advantage in the first Test against Bangladesh on Thursday in Antigua.

Seales and Joseph ended with the identical figures of 3-33 from 10 overs and 8.5 overs respectively, and the Windies bowled out the Bangladeshis for 103 in their first innings about 40 minutes after lunch on the first day.

When stumps were drawn, West Indies were 95 for two in reply with their captain Kraigg Brathwaite not out on 42 after surviving a chance before he had scored and Nkrumah Bonner not out on 12.

After getting off to a strangely slow start before tea reaching 15 without loss, the Caribbean side lost left-handed opener John Campbell for 24 in the first hour after the break when he was bowled, playing on a delivery from left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.

Fellow left-hander Raymon Reifer, playing only his second Test and first in 4-1/2 years, came to the crease at three and spent almost an hour with Brathwaite, his Wanderers and Barbados Pride captain, before he was caught at slip off Ebadot Hossain for 11.

Bonner and Brathwaite batted through the remainder of the day to take West Indies to within eight of gaining a first innings lead early on the second day before trying to bat the host into an impregnable position.

Earlier, the Windies pacers extracted bounce and movement from a helpful Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch and justified their side’s decision to field after winning the toss, with a record six Bangladesh batsmen falling for ducks.

Kemar Roach and part-time pacer Kyle Mayers collected two wickets apiece before lunch and had the visitors reeling on 76 for six at the interval.

Roach made the breakthrough when he got Mahmudul Hasan Joy caught at third slip for a first-ball duck, and then bowled Najmul Hossain Shanto for a duck in the third over, and the Bangladeshis sunk to three for two inside the first half-hour.

Seales and Joseph interjected with the scalps of Mominul Haque caught at second slip for a duck and long-serving left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal caught behind down the leg-side for 29 respectively, either side of the drinks break to tighten the West Indies’ grip and had the visitors wobbling on 41 for four.

Mayers then struck twice in his first over when he got Liton Das caught behind for 12, and trapped Nurul Hasan lbw for a second-ball duck, and Bangladesh slumped to 45 for six.

After lunch, Seales and Joseph carved up the remainder of the Bangladeshi wickets, but

the visitors’ captain Shakib Al Hasan defied them to get the top score of 51.

Seales struck in the first over after the interval to remove Mehidy Hasan Miraz caught behind down the leg-side without addition to his lunch score of two, and got Mustafizur caught behind for a duck in his next over.

The Caribbean side were put on their heels when Shakib launched a counter-offensive, taking three fours off Joseph’s seventh over, but the Antiguan pacer overcame that harsh treatment and brought the innings to a close with scalps of the Bangaldesh captain and Ebadot in the span of five balls.

West Indies included uncapped Guyanese leg-spinner Gudakesh Motie for his Test debut, making him the 328th player to wear the maroon cap.

They also included Roach after he recovered from a hamstring injury he got when representing Surrey in the English County Championship this past April and passed a fitness test on the eve of the match.

The second and final Test of the series starts next Friday at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

Summarised scores:

Bangladesh 103 (Shakib Al Hasan 51, Tamim Iqbal 29, Liton Das 12; Jayden Seales 3-33, Alzarri Joseph 3-33, Kyle Mayers 2-10, Kemar Roach 2-21).

West Indies 95 for two (Kraigg Brathwaite 42 not out, John Campbell 24, Nkrumah Bonner 12 not out, Raymon Reifer 11).



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