West Indies v Bangladesh, 1st Test, St Lucia, 2nd day

Rafique century frustrates West Indies

The Wisden Bulletin by Freddie Auld

May 29, 2004

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Bangladesh 406 for 9 (Bashar 113, Rafique 103*, Ashraful 81) v West Indies
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Mohammad Rafique celebrates his hundred in the drizzle in St Lucia © AFP
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On a rain-affected day, Bangladesh further frustrated the West Indies bowlers to reach 406 for 9 - their highest ever Test total - at the close of the second day of the first Test in St Lucia.

With play restricted to a three-hour final session, West Indies managed just two wickets, thanks largely to a remarkable hundred from Mohammad Rafique, only the third No. 9 to score a century in a Test. He played some bold shots, but in fairness was aided by some mediocre bowling and woeful catching - he was dropped twice in three balls in the nineties by the hapless Fidel Edwards.

The bad weather around St Lucia may have stayed away yesterday, but the rain returned last night and this morning to delay the start with no play possible until midway through the afternoon. West Indies expected to wrap-up the Bangladesh innings quickly, but Rafique and Mohammad Ashraful added a further 59 together until Jermaine Lawson trapped Ashraful lbw for 81 (337 for 8).

Tapash Baisya kept Rafique company before he was caught and bowled by Ramnaresh Sarwan for 9 (370 for 9), but Rafique, who was also dropped twice early in the day, was still happy to play his shots, reaching his century off the last ball of the day by cutting Chris Gayle for four. His hundred included 11 fours and two sixes.

That stroke was the last of the day, as drizzle had already started as he celebrated. As West Indies trudged off dejectedly, Rafique was mobbed by his team-mates as he reached the boundary. Even the taciturn Dav Whatmore smiled.

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