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West Indies began their campaign in Bangladesh in spectacular fashion, scoring 361 runs for the loss of just 4 wickets to end day 1 of the first test on a high. Apart from an even first session, the day belonged to the Windies undoubtedly. They managed to frustrate the Bangladeshi bowlers with some choosy stroke-making and classy drives. They piled on runs at a very healthy rate just in excess of 4 an over. Bangladesh had a hard day in the field. Their bowlers failed to provide wickets barring debutant Sohag Gazi and Shahadat Hossain.
Opting to bat first, West Indies began in spectacular fashion as Chris Gayle whacked Gazi for two huge sixes in the first over to announce his arrival in Bangladesh. Gayle also hit consecutive fours off Shahadat Hossain in the 4th over. However, Gazi came back well in his third over to see the back of Gayle for 24, caught at long off.
After the early wicket, Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo knocked the ball around for singles and also found the occasional boundary. Bravo played a couple of handsome drives through the covers but soon after, he tried to slice a delivery from Gazi away from his body and ended up giving a simple catch to point.
Marlon Samuels came in at no.4 and took some time getting his eye in. He played some thrilling shots, driving the ball against the spinners. He had a good partnership going with Powell but fell right at the stroke of lunch as he tried to pull a short delivery from Shahadat Hossain to deep square leg. Gazi obliged with a good low catch. West Indies went for lunch with three wickets down but had managed 107 at a healthy strike rate.
The second session began slowly for the West Indies, both Powell and Shivnarine Chanderpaul pushed the ones and twos. They were very choosy, only the bad deliveries were put away for runs. Powell moved slowly to reach 50 in 110 balls. He played more aggressively after that, hitting fours quite regularly. Chanderpaul continued picking singles and rotating the strike. He struck only 4 fours as he went for tea unbeaten at 46. Powell, on the other hand, hit a four in almost every over, quite unlike how he played in the first session. He reached his second test century when he swept Shakib Al Hasan for four in the 56th over. West Indies were in a commanding position with a score of 228/3 at tea, Kieran Powell batting with 115 to his namewith 18 fours and a six.
The start of the third session gave Bangladesh the opening they needed to come back into the match. Once again, Gazi provided the all important breakthrough as he clean bowled Powell (117) with a delivery that kept slightly low and missed Powell's bat as he attempted to hit it to mid wicket. However, the hope that the fall of the wicket brought was totally extinguished by some very technical batting by both Chanderpaul and wicketkeeper batsman Denesh Ramdin. Chanderpaul brought up his 50 (111) soon after with a lovely drive. Ramdin took some time to settle. He didn't go for boundaries, instead kept rotating the strike. The batsmen also picked up quite a lot of twos.
Chanderpaul shifted gears after bringing up his fifty. He started attacking the bowlers more. He played some lovely cut strokes to the spinners. He also came down the track on some instances. He reached his century in 158 balls with 13 fours. Ramdin hit his first four after facing 32 balls. However, he didn't get bogged down and continued through the session with extreme patience. He reached 50 towards the end of the day. Both Chanderpaul and Ramdin slowed down a bit towards the end to remain unbeaten on 123 and 52 respectively. West Indies ended at 361/4. The first day clearly belonged to them. Bangladesh will have to pick up a couple of early wickets tomorrow if they want to stay in the game but the way things are going, it seems pretty unlikely. Debutant Gazi bowled 32 out of the 90 overs today but their senior bowlers should look to bowl more. Rubel Hossain was not fully fit at the start of the game. Bangladesh need a changed strategy for tomorrow.
West Indies 1st Innings 361/4 (90 Overs, 4.01 rpo)
S Chanderpaul 123* (195) S Gazi 3/97
K Powell 117 (178) Shahadat Hossain 1/73
Photo by: Randy Brooks windiescricket.com
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