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The Report by Abhishek Purohit
November 23, 2012
West Indies 564 for 4 (Samuels 260, Bravo 127, Chanderpaul 109*) lead Bangladesh 387 by 177 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Marlon Samuels shredded the Bangladesh attack in the morning, reached his maiden Test double hundred and then sat back to watch Shivnarine Chanderpaul breeze to his 27th century, which followed his unbeaten 203 in the Mirpur Test. The Khulna pitch refused to stand up for the third day running and apart from ruing their lack of luck, Bangladesh could do little else as West Indies piled on the lead. They did take two wickets, as they had on day two, but at the cost of 323 runs.
Almost unobtrusively, Darren Bravo reached his fourth Test hundred, all of which have come in the subcontinent. His partnership with Samuels swelled to 326, West Indies' sixth-highest ever, before Sohag Gazi ended it by trapping Bravo in front. The one between Samuels and Chanderpaul added 177.
Samuels switched gears each session from spectacular to sedate to smooth, with Chanderpaul outscoring him comfortably after lunch. Samuels had taken 82 off 81 deliveries in the morning; he took 86 to make 29 after lunch. He did accelerate to score 40 off 57 in the final session before falling to the third new ball off Rubel Hossain.
Samuels had an extremely edgy start to the day for a man resuming on 109, but he recovered to slam 14 boundaries till lunch as Bangladesh wilted after the initial burst from their quick bowlers. He was to hit just two edged fours in the second session.
The second new ball was two overs old at the start, and Bangladesh could have had a wicket in each of the first four overs. Bravo edged Rubel Hossain's second delivery of the day and it nearly carried to the lone slip. Nearly. The word was to define Bangladesh's morning.
Samuels was dropped once and survived several times in the next three overs. He was beaten by both Rubel and Abul Hasan and edged both through the slips for fours. In the day's fourth over, an edge off Abul even carried low to first slip, but Naeem Islam was late to react. By now, Samuels must have realised it was his day, and three balls later, he thumped Abul through covers for four.
Bravo did the same to the next two deliveries, off Rubel, and West Indies were now galloping. Bravo was to add 42 to his overnight 85, but he might as well have been invisible, such was Samuels' assault.
Yet again, Shakib Al Hasan, who had troubled him on day two, almost dismissed Samuels today. Samuels had been exploiting the slowness of the Khulna pitch, which gave him ample time to stand front-on against the spinners and swing length deliveries over square leg. After doing the same to Shakib in the 102nd over, he tried repeating the stroke next delivery. The ball took the inside edge, hit the pad and rolled onto leg stump, but to Mushfiqur Rahim's utter disbelief, did not dislodge the bails. Samuels gleefully charged out and hit the last ball of that over for six down the ground.
Had Bravo not gone back to cut a quick and straight Gazi delivery and been hit on pad first, Bangladesh could have spent the break cursing their luck, which did not change in the afternoon. Rubel struck Samuels on the pad first ball on resumption, but a close shout was turned down. First ball of Rubel's next over, Samuels slashed and the edge flew over slip. He had further issues against Rubel, whose short deliveries did not rise enough to be ducked under, and did not come quickly enough to be pulled with timing. A tuck to leg off his 329th delivery brought up Samuels' first Test double century in what has easily been his most productive year.
Chanderpaul did not need the kind of fortune Samuels had. His pace of scoring was also more consistent across sessions. He made 52 off 96 in the second, and added 57 off 110 in the third. As he so often does, Chanderpaul began quietly. He opened up an hour after lunch to play several cuts, steers, and sweeps, and stepped out to lift Shakib for a straight six. Chanderpaul hit fewer boundaries after tea, but that made little difference to his strike-rate.
With the old ball difficult to time on the slow wicket, both Samuels and Chanderpaul went after the third new ball. The Bangladesh quicks were largely wayward with it, with Abul being taken for three fours in the 164th over. Previous edges had hardly carried, but Rubel finally got one to rear enough to take the shoulder of Samuels' bat and carry to gully.
Abul was taken off after that over, only his second with the third new ball. Gazi came on, and Chanderpaul lifted his first ball over mid-off to move to 99, and reached his hundred in the same over. Like Samuels had on day two, Chanderpaul also ended day three unbeaten on 109. Bangladesh would be hoping for the small mercy that Chanderpaul does not cut loose on Saturday morning, like Samuels did today.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Abhishek Purohit
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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