Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite followed a template – a template which has worked quite successfully for Windies all through this home season: of playing risk-free cricket. They have immense patience, and yet again they displayed that as they went through the post Lunch season scratch free, taking Windies to 90 for no loss at Tea on Day 1.
There wasn’t much wrong the Bangladeshi bowlers did. They stuck to a disciplined line and length. But a brief homework, about how the two openers went about their business in the preceding series against Sri Lanka, would have given them a fair idea that deliveries on the sixth stump line wouldn’t be messed around much. And they bowled too many of those in that region. Maybe they were testing the patience of the batters, drying up the runs, only to emerge defeated in the short passage of play.
The idea to not attack, especially after folding up in less than a session on a wicket that still has a good bounce and reasonable movement on offer, made little sense. And it is no surprise that despite the slow moving, Windies not only managed to overhaul Bangladesh’s first innings score but also more than double it in only two sessions of the Test.
Earlier in the day, Kemar Roach’s eighth Test fifer, bundled out Bangladesh for 43 – the lowest Test score in 44 years, and the lowest ever for Bangladesh – after they were put into bat.
The pacer ran through the top order, and within the first 45 minutes, left them reeling at 18 for 5. In his fifth over, he accounted for three wickets – Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah – all dismissed for ducks. He suffered an injury to his calf during the over, and left the field after the triple wicket over.
But Bangladesh’s miseries were not to be reduced ever after Roach’s exit as Miguel Cummins became the beneficiary of some brainless batting. Leading the way was Liton Das. The opener was the only batsman who had got his eye in, and had survived the early carnage. However, when the burden was on him to revive their innings, he threw his wicket in a bid to slog a moving ball out of the park.
The lower order too couldn’t provide much resistance and were quickly cleaned up, with skipper Jason Holder bagging the last two wickets.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 43 in 18.4 overs (Liton Das 25; Kemar Roach 5-8, Miguel Cummins 3-11) trail Windies 90/0 in 32 overs (Devon Smith 48*, Kraigg Brathwaite 40*) by 47 runs
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