Second Test Match

Bangladesh v West Indies

At Chittagong, December 16, 17, 18, 2002. West Indies won by seven wickets. Toss: Bangladesh.

Bangladesh suffered their eighth three-day defeat in 17 Tests - but this was actually one of their better performances. They put up a brave fight, and the cricket played had an intensity rarely seen in their matches. It was only the second time they had picked as many as three seamers in a home Test, but the decision was vindicated: those three bowled their hearts out on a lifeless pitch, making the West Indians sweat for every run.

As usual, however, Bangladesh had too few runs to defend. They had made very little of winning the toss in perfect batting conditions, going under for 194. Al Sahariar and Hannan Sarkar started well enough, but Drakes separated them on the stroke of the first drinks break, and Darren Powell followed up next ball. Sanwar Hossain and Mohammad Ashraful raised hopes, adding 64, but the rot really began when Ashraful fell to an outstanding one-handed catch by a leaping Powell at mid-off. Sanwar departed in the next over, and only Khaled Masud hung around after that, batting more than two hours.

The match seemed to be on a familiar course, as West Indies looked for a huge lead. To date, the average first-innings total against Bangladesh was 468, the average first-innings lead 282. But the home seamers decided to write a different script, removing the West Indian top five with only 127 on the board. It took a 99-run stand between Ganga and Jacobs to tug the tourists into the lead, and they were eventually restricted to 296, the lowest all-out total by any Test side against Bangladesh. Tapash Baisya led the three-pronged pace attack, taking three wickets in his last spell to finish with four for 72 - almost doubling his career total.

Bangladesh's deficit was 102, and by stumps on the second day the openers had wiped off 40 and promised more. But both were victims of the vagaries of the pitch: Hannan bowled by a straight, low ball from Drakes, and Al Sahariar trapped plumb in front when Powell cut one back from a crack outside off stump. In between, their best batsman, Habibul Bashar, gloved a snorter from Collins to the keeper. Before long, Bangladesh were a precarious 137 for six.

They were salvaged by Alok Kapali, pulling and flicking gracefully while finding an ally in Enamul Haque, who contributed just nine to their 73-run fightback. Alok hit 12 fours and two sixes, advancing to 85 in 111 balls, but fell mistiming a hook just before tea on the third day. That was the end of Bangladesh's resistance; the last four went in 21 deliveries. Needing 111, West Indies were determined to get them that evening. They rattled up the runs inside 22 overs, thanks to Gayle, with 37 in 31 balls, though the seamers grabbed three quick wickets. Bangladesh found further satisfaction when Alok became only their third player, after Javed Omar and Mohammad Ashraful, to win the match award in a Test.

Man of the Match: Alok Kapali. Man of the Series: J. J. C. Lawson.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 38-1 (Gayle 10, Sarwan 14); Second day, Bangladesh 40-0 (Hannan Sarkar 12, Al Sahariar 21).

© John Wisden & Co