2nd Test

Bangladesh v West Indies in Bangladesh, 2011-12

Utpal Shuvro

At Mirpur, October 29-November 2, 2011. West Indies won by 229 runs. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: Suhrawadi Shuvo.


Darren Sammy holds aloft the series trophy, Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5th day, November 2, 2011
Darren Sammy holds the trophy aloft © AFP
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Darren Sammy came to the press conference after the presentations, cradling the trophy and saying: "My baby, oh my baby." He had reason to be cheerful: his side had won by a thumping margin to secure the series. It was West Indies' first away win since beating South Africa in December 2007, and their first series triumph overseas since winning in Zimbabwe in November 2003.

Victory came more easily than Sammy could have hoped. Five overs before lunch on the final day, Bangladesh - chasing a notional 508 - looked reasonably comfortable at 256 for five. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim were batting beautifully, and a few optimistic souls even began to think in terms of a draw. But that wilted when Shakib played an inexplicable shot: trying to flick an innocuous ball from Sammy - shortish, slowish, and angling in - across the line, he succeeded only in sending a leading edge spiralling to backward point.

Shakib's dismissal triggered a collapse, and it was all over soon after lunch, with the last five wickets tumbling for 22. The wrecker-in-chief was Devendra Bishoo, the young leg-spinner from Guyana who was shortly to lift the ICC's Emerging Player of the Year award. Bishoo claimed his first five-for in his seventh Test, and his match figures of eight for 152 were the best by any West Indian spinner away from home since Lance Gibbs took nine for 143 against India in Bombay in 1974-75.

Immediately after the prize-giving, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was spotted giving tips to the Bangladeshi batsmen, in a masterclass arranged by Mushfiqur Rahim. It was easy to imagine what Chanderpaul might have been saying: batting in Test matches is not just about hitting fours and sixes, but about batting time too - an area in which Bangladesh were yet again found wanting. West Indies batted for 126.4 overs in their first innings, and 111.3 in the second; Bangladesh's two innings lasted less than 150 overs in total, as the batsmen came out all guns blazing.

This was typified by the first innings, when their fifth wicket went down in only the ninth over, although the score was already 59. In a fiery spell, Fidel Edwards took all five in the space of 29 balls. Bangladesh made a partial recovery, thanks to Shakib's stroke- filled 73 from 74 deliveries and Naeem Islam's doughty 45, but the deficit was still 124. West Indies' first innings had included maiden half-centuries for Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell (a late inclusion after Lendl Simmons injured his back), and a watchful hundred for Kirk Edwards, who stuck at it for more than six hours to complete his second century in only his third Test.

On a placid pitch, which offered no sideways movement for the pacemen and no turn for the spinners, West Indies batted more fluently second time around, none more so than Darren Bravo. The young Trinidadian, with an uncanny similarity in mannerism and batting style to Brian Lara, scored his maiden hundred in his tenth Test, reaching it off the last ball of the third day. And, as Lara liked to do, Bravo made it a big one: he was out for 195 next day, trying to reach his double-century with a second consecutive six off the debutant left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo, who had been included at the last minute when Elias Sunny cried off with a stomach upset.

Bravo's fine innings was not without blemish. He was dropped twice off Shakib in three balls when 45 - by Mushfiqur behind the stumps and Imrul Kayes at slip - and again by Kayes off Shuvo at 113. Bravo played the innings of the game, but the match award went to Kirk Edwards, who completed a fine double of 121 and 86, setting up a towering target which Bangladesh were never likely to threaten - even if defeat was not a foregone conclusion until Shakib's rush of blood.

Man of the Match: K. A. Edwards. Man of the Series: Shakib Al Hasan.

© John Wisden & Co.