At Khulna, November 21-25, 2012. West Indies won by ten wickets. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debut: Abul Hasan.
Bangladesh had fought valiantly in the first Test, but this time victory came rather more easily for West Indies, who completed a 2-0 sweep. As they had also beaten New Zealand in both Tests in the Caribbean four months previously, it meant they had won four successive matches, something which had proved beyond them since the dying days of their glory years, in 1992-93. Richie Richardson, now the team manager, was captain then: "The signs of decline were there," he said with a rueful smile, "but I never thought it would take so long to win four consecutive Tests again."
The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna became the seventh Test ground in Bangladesh - and the 107th, all told - which was a source of great pride to the locals, who put up lights and special gates in the streets, and gave the teams a royal welcome. People were queuing to get in, a rare sight for a Test on the subcontinent these days. Those lucky enough to make it inside witnessed a rare feat: 20-year-old Abul Hasan, making his debut primarily as a fast bowler, came in at No. 10 and scored a scintillating century. It took him only 106 balls, even though he slowed up a little in sight of the historic milestone. The frontline batsmen had struggled on a slow, low pitch, and a swift end was expected when Hasan strolled out at 193 for 8 - but he dominated a stand of 184 in 33 overs with the more experienced Mahmudullah.
Hasan, a right-arm bowler but a left-hand bat, zoomed to fifty with four and six - using his feet and lofting down the ground - off successive balls from Sammy, and swung Permaul away for two more sixes. He reached his century shortly before the close. Only Australia's Reggie Duff, a batsman who went in low down for tactical reasons, had previously scored a debut hundred from No. 10, in the 1901-02 Ashes. And only two batsmen had previously made a hundred on debut for Bangladesh - Aminul Islam, in their inaugural Test against India, at Dhaka in 2000-01, and Mohammad Ashraful, against Sri Lanka in Colombo the following season.
The Bangladesh innings was polished off in 31 balls next morning, as Edwards finished with 6 for 90. Sammy took three, although the so-called mystery man Narine failed to strike. Sadly for Bangladesh, Hasan proved less of a hit with the ball: having scored 113, he now completed a unique double by conceding 113 too - no debut centurion had ever conceded a century of runs with the ball as well. Only the contrasting spin of Sohag Gazi and Shakib Al Hasan bothered the batsmen: West Indies batted for more than seven sessions, and Sammy did not declare until he had a huge lead and a total touching 650. Even then he might have continued, but did not want to risk aggravating last man Best's sore hamstring.
Bangladesh had started brightly enough in the field. Rubel Hossain dismissed Powell, the twin-centurion of the previous Test, then Gazi got Gayle again, nicking an attempted sweep. But it was nearly 100 overs before another wicket went down, as Bravo and Samuels put on 326. Samuels sailed on after Bravo eventually missed Gazi's quicker one, which ended his fourth Test century, all scored on the subcontinent.
At 369 for 3, just about the last new batsman a fielding side would want to see was Chanderpaul, who had thrown off the illness that had bothered him in the later stages at Mirpur. He was soon back in limpet mode, and puttered on with Samuels, adding a further 177 in 54 overs: it was a big surprise when, late on the third day, Rubel got a ball to jump at Samuels, who could only fend it to point. By then he had been at the crease for 618 minutes, and his 260 (just one short of Ramnaresh Sarwan's overall Test record against Bangladesh) contained 31 fours and three sixes.
At times he exploited the slowness of the pitch by standing almost square-on against the spinners and working them to leg. He was dropped twice - at 117 and 193 - and also had a stroke of luck when a ball from Shakib rolled into the stumps but did not dislodge the bails. At one point Shakib had none for 134 from 48 overs, but then took four wickets in 17 balls, including his 100th in Tests (Sammy, caught at slip). Only Mohammad Rafique, another left-arm spinner, had previously reached the mark for Bangladesh: he finished with exactly 100, so Shakib soon became their leading wicket-taker too.
When Sammy finally called a halt, Chanderpaul was still there with 150 not out - his 27th Test century - and a series average of 354. Seasoned Bangladesh-watchers feared the lead might be enough for an innings victory, and were almost right: they dipped to 82 for 5 in the 18th over, before Shakib and Nasir Hossain stopped the rot in a stand eventually worth 144. Both fell just short of centuries: Shakib mistimed an ugly slog against Permaul and was caught at mid-off, while Nasir was cleaned up by Best after reaching 90 for the second time in the series.
Best was clearly feeling his hamstring niggle, and bowled below his usual pace - but showed his increased maturity by finding some swing to take three wickets in his first 16 balls, including the important scalp of Tamim Iqbal with his first; his eventual 6 for 40 meant he had improved his Test-best for the second match running. Shakib and Nasir at least forced West Indies to bat again, but they needed only 27, which the openers knocked off in 28 balls.
Man of the Match: M. N. Samuels. Man of the Series: S. Chanderpaul.
Close of play: first day, Bangladesh 365-8 (Mahmudullah 72, Abul Hasan 100); second day, West Indies 241-2 (Bravo 85, Samuels 109); third day, West Indies 564-4 (Chanderpaul 109, Ramdin 4); fourth day, Bangladesh 226-6 (Nasir Hossain 64).