First Test Match

Bangladesh v West Indies

At Dhaka, December 8, 9, 10, 2002. West Indies won by an innings and 310 runs. Toss: West Indies. Test debuts: Anwar Hossain Piju; V. C. Drakes.

Bangladesh hit several new lows on the third day: their lowest innings total, their lowest match aggregate, and the biggest defeat in their 16 Tests. It was all due to Jermaine Lawson, the 20-year-old Jamaican fast bowler, who had made his Test debut at Chennai in October. He propelled himself into the record books with scarcely believable figures of 6.5-4-3-6, the most economical six-wicket haul in Test history. Only Australia's Ernie Toshack had taken five or more for fewer runs, when he claimed five for two against India at Brisbane in 1947-48. All Lawson's six wickets came in a devastating 15-ball spell, in which he did not concede a single run; in one over, he took three in four deliveries. Bangladesh collapsed from 80 for three, losing their final seven for as many runs as the last five all made ducks. They had lasted 31.5 overs, only eight balls more than their shortest innings, against South Africa at Potchefstroom a few weeks earlier.

In South Africa, Bangladesh had only once succumbed for less than 170, so a much better show was expected at home against a bowling attack which was hardly fearsome by West Indian standards. But it started to go wrong when they were inserted and lost opener Hannan Sarkar to the first ball of the match, a perfect yorker from left-arm pacer Collins. He and Vasbert Drakes were too hot for the batsmen to handle; Bangladesh were tottering at 44 for five by the 16th over. Alok Kapali carried forward his one-day form, scoring his first Test fifty, and stabilised the innings, adding 73 with captain Khaled Masud. But when both departed inside nine balls there was little further resistance: the innings folded for 139. Collins was the chief destroyer, with five; Vasbert Drakes, making his Test debut at the ripe age of 33, after 142 first-class matches, took four, just as he had in each of the one-day games. Other than Alok and Masud, only Habibul Bashar reached double figures, which made him the first Bangladeshi to score 1,000 Test runs.

West Indian openers Gayle and Hinds almost matched the home side's total with a 131-run partnership. But both fell on the second morning, in the same over from Tapash Baisya. Chanderpaul soon followed, but Bangladesh's joy evaporated when Sarwan and Samuels shared a fine stand of 176. Sarwan, who had got his first international century in the one-day game a week earlier, added a maiden Test hundred, after passing the fifty mark 14 times in his previous 48 innings. Samuels fell nine short of his second successive Test century, and Jacobs was stranded on the same score when West Indies were finally bowled out for a huge 536. That meant a lead of 397 and, thanks to Lawson, they completed the seventh-largest victory in all Tests on the third evening.

Man of the Match: J. J. C. Lawson.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 118-0 (Gayle 44, Hinds 73); Second day, West Indies 400-5 (Ganga 34, Jacobs 14).

© John Wisden & Co