ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – Nurul Hasan held up West Indies’ march towards the 1-0 lead for more than 90 minutes on the third day in Antigua, but eventually fell to give the hosts an innings and 219-run win shortly before lunch. Shannon Gabriel finished with his fifth five-wicket haul, while Jason Holder and Miguel Cummins shared the other five.
So effective they were that the hosts didn’t miss Kemar Roach, who did not bowl in the second innings because of a hamstring niggle. By finishing the Test the way they did, West Indies may have given their strike bowler valuable time to recover ahead of the second Test starting July 12 in Jamaica.
This game was Bangladesh’s second shortest in terms of balls faced. In the last 66 years, the 59 overs that Bangladesh faced were the least a side faced in being bowled out twice.
Nurul’s enterprising 64 was one of very few high notes for Bangladesh in a disappointing Test. It is the fastest half-century for a Bangladeshi overseas.
He struck six fours and two sixes in his 74-ball knock, a majority of which came during the course of his 55-run ninth-wicket stand with Rubel Hossain. This was also Bangladesh’s best partnership of the match.
Nurul batted with positivity, riding the bounce to tackle short deliveries and being picky with full balls. Five of his six fours came behind the wicket, one of which was a clever ramp off a steep bouncer. His two sixes were more conventional: a loft over long-off off Gabriel and a pull over deep midwicket off Devendra Bishoo.
Mahmudullah fell off the first legal delivery of the day to set the tone for the downfall. The Jason Holder delivery pitched at length on off and squared the batsman up to take the edge that was well taken in the slips.
Kamrul Islam Rabbi took a number of blows to his body, as well as one on his helmet, before Gabriel blasted his stumps to complete his five-wicket haul.
Earlier on the second day, the West Indies’ fast bowlers rocked Bangladesh, again, reducing them to 50 for 6 in the final hour of play. This after Kraigg Brathwaite’s seventh Test hundred secured West Indies a 363-run first-innings lead.
Kemar Roach, who had wrecked Bangladesh in the first innings, did not take the field in the second because of a hamstring injury, but Shannon Gabriel blew the visitors away with sheer pace and bounce.
Gabriel dismissed Tamim Iqbal soon after the opener had become the first Bangladesh player to 4000 Test runs. One ball after Tamim’s dismissal, Mominul Haque was bowled by a Gabriel shooter that snuck through his defences.
Jason Holder, who took the new ball with Gabriel due to Roach’s absence, then plunged into the action. He kept moving the out-swinger late from Liton Das, who resisted for a while, but in the seventh over, he went after another out-swinger, only to edge to Brathwaite at first slip.
Gabriel then blazed one past Mushfiqur Rahim’s defensive prod, with the ball cutting back after pitching on a good length. Shakib Al Hasan then became his fourth victim, squared up to one that snaked away from him.
Mehidy Hasan, who had earlier bowled well to give Bangladesh something to cheer about, became Holder’s second wicket when he edged a short ball.
The action wasn’t as dramatic when the hosts started the day on 201 for 2. They added 205 runs in 69.3 overs, Brathwaite leading the way with a polished ton. Having begun the day on 88, Brathwaite first took 20 balls to reach the milestone and then let the others do the bulk of the scoring.
He was in control of most of his shots, however, and only offered one chance – Liton Das dropping him at leg gully when he was on 110 though it was a tough opportunity.
Brathwaite added 52 runs for the third wicket with Devendra Bishoo before the night-watchman lost his off stump to Kamrul Islam Rabbi.
The second session saw West Indies lose their way to Bangladesh’s spinners. Mehidy removed Roston Chase leg-before and had Holder caught at short-leg, while Shakib took the wickets of Brathwaite, caught at cover, and had Shane Dowrich caught at silly mid-off.
Roach, though, struck six fours and a six in his breezy 33, before falling leg-before to Mehidy, while Hope made 67 off 127 balls. Debutant Abu Jayed took Hope’s wicket – caught at fine leg – before removing Gabriel to wrap up the West Indies innings. Mehidy and Jayed took three wickets each while Shakib took two wickets.