Tea Bangladesh 78 for 3 (Haque 2*, Tamim 50, Brathwaite 2-11) and 296 need 153 to beat West Indies 117 (Bonner 38, Da Silva 20, Islam 4-36, Hasan 3-34) and 409
An enterprising 50, completed off just 44 balls by Tamim Iqbal, and his 59-run partnership for the first wicket with Soumya Sarkar briefly put Bangladesh in control of a tricky fourth-innings chase of 231 against West Indies in Dhaka on day four of the second Test, though the part-time off-spin of captain Kraigg Brathwaite pegged the hosts back by removing both in the space of four overs ahead of tea. Rahkeem Cornwall then got Najmul Hossain Shanto to pop one up to forward short leg with some extra bounce, to leave Bangladesh at 78 for 3, though with captain Mominul Haque still in the middle.
The target, which, if achieved, would surpass the existing Bangladesh record fourth innings chase of 217 against the same opposition in 2009, was itself made possible due to a flurry of wickets post-tea, when West Indies lost their last four wickets for 13 runs inside 21 balls to get skittled out for 117. Spinners Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan were the wreckers-in-chief with 4 for 36 and 3 for 34, respectively, while a 7th-wicket stand of 31 between Nkrumah Bonner (38) and Joshua Da Silva (20) briefly raised visions of a resistance that could have stretched the lead to 250 and beyond, after seamer Abu Jayed picked up two early wickets to set the West Indies demise in motion.
Iqbal and Sarkar added 59 runs in 12 overs, playing seam and spin in a positive manner, with Iqbal accounting for eight of the nine boundaries struck in that period. He drove the seamers, and used his feet to loft Rahkeem Cornwall both down the ground and inside out, while reserving the full range of sweeps against left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican. Brathwaite brought himself on to replace Warrican, and off the first ball he delivered, Sarkar played a tentative poke outside off, which took wicketkeeper Da Silva’s pads and popped up for Cornwall at slip. Four overs later, Brathwaite gave the Bangladesh innings another scare, by inducing an uppish drive from Iqbal that was snapped up at cover, leaving a nervous few overs for Haque and Shanto to survive.
The day began with West Indies still over 150 ahead and the first over from Jayed to Bonner suggested a long toil ahead for Bangladesh. Jayed, who was not used for any of the 21 overs bowled on the third evening, erred in both line and length in the course of his first four balls, allowing Bonner to whip him towards deep mid-wicket and deep backward square-leg, besides driving towards deep cover. Umpire Richard Illingworth, though, would have a word with Bonner about straying on to the middle of the pitch, registering one official warning after having a word with him.
Jayed, who was quick to correct his line and length after the wayward opening over, delivered the first wicket of the day when he pinned nightwatchman Jomel Warrican in front of the stumps before having added to his overnight tally. That brought Kyle Mayers to the crease, and he punched a short ball first up through the gap between mid-on and mid-wicket for an emphatic four. Off the last ball of the Jayed over, though, Mayers pressed forward with bat close to pad, and appeared to have feathered an edge through to Liton Das, but Bangladesh opted not to review.
Jayed wouldn’t have to wait long for redemption, with Mayers playing around his pads and getting trapped in front to one angling in from around the wicket from the seamer while on 6. Jermain Blackwood showed early intent, casually lofting the third ball he faced from Jayed over long-on for a gorgeous six. However, on 9, he fell victim to Islam, wheeling away economically at the other end, almost immediately after drinks. Islam tempted him to stretch forward, spun the ball across his edge, and Das whipped the bails off with the batsman’s back foot still on the line.
Da Silva walked in and set about disturbing the length of the spinners by pulling out a sweep against Islam for four to get moving. He appeared at ease through the rest of his stay, with a slog sweep against Nayeem Hasan, and a cover drive against Jayed taking the West Indies lead beyond 200. However, he fell to the ninth ball after lunch, with Islam getting one to spin across his front foot defensive prod, and took the edge through to slip. Alzarri Joseph struck a massive six over mid-wicket, but fell for 9, when a leading edge off Islam took a deflection off silly mid-off and was gratefully accepted at cover by Najmul Hossain Shanto.
Hasan then struck twice in what turned out to be the final over of the West Indies innings, getting Bonner to lose his patience in attempting an awkward reverse-swipe, and going through his legs to rattle the stumps.
Cornwall was last man out, holing out to Mushfiqur Rahim at deep mid-wicket, though he might still have a big say in which way this match and series goes in the four sessions that potentially remain.
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