History-making Mayers looking for more and more glory

"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder, I want to be successful and consistent for the duration of my career."

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
In successful fourth-inning chases this big, it is only natural that the batsmen who take their team to that height, are themselves quite special. They either have done it late in their career like Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Don Bradman and Younis Khan, or after they have become batting mainstays like Sunil Gavaskar, AB de Villiers and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Kyle Mayers was playing his first Test match in a country he was touring for the first time, where his team has been struggling for close to a month. He only made it to the side after several of West Indies' top players pulled out of the tour.
Going by how they lost the ODI series 0-3 and the way this Chattogram Test was panning out for four days, the only people who could have believed that West Indies could win, were inside the West Indies dressing room. And, that's exactly what happened.
Throughout his six hours and 55 minutes stay at the crease, not for once did Mayers look out of touch, lacking control or anything less than confident. His unbeaten 210, that included 20 fours and seven sixes, is going to be historic, mainly because of the circumstances he and his team, and for that matter his opponent Bangladesh, found themselves in.
Mayers said that he first detected he was on to something special at the lunch break, when he and Nkrumah Bonner had been unbeaten through the first session. They added 87 runs in 31 overs, and while there was the odd ball that kept really low or jumped off a length, they looked generally comfortable.
It was an impressive start from two debutants who had previously struggled against spin. But by the end of the first session, Bonner and Mayers were showing a bit more guile in tackling the slow turning deliveries.
"From the moment we batted to lunch, I thought that winning the first session, not giving the opposition a wicket for the first session, I thought I could take it straight to the end," Mayers said. "Then we got to tea, so then things began to look brighter. It was pretty simple, Bonner and I just tried to enjoy the moment. It was our first game at the Test match level so we just tried to stay as cool as possible. We tried not to watch the scoreboard.
"We knew that if we batted time, our team would have been in good stead. So we just tried to bat time, stay tight and remind each other to stay positive. To capitalise on any opportunity to score, because the conditions were not easy. So scoring helped us put pressure back on the opposition. We were just reminding each other to score and try to stay at the wicket for as long as possible."
Mayers took the attack to the Bangladesh at every opportunity, driving freely through point and cover, and pulling all the short balls from the offspinners.
"It was difficult. Some balls stayed low, some bounced. Guys were spinning the ball, they bowled arm balls. The wicket was all over the place. I just had to stick to my gameplan and try to play as straight as possible, and hope for the best."
Mayers said that once he had reached his century, he understood the responsibility to bat longer for the team, and once he had got the hang of the pitch, a double-century was around the corner. "A hundred was on the cards for me but I knew the team required me to score more than a hundred.
"So when I was batting, I was thinking that I needed to make 150. I thought at the start of the day that if I get 150-160, my team would be in good stead to cross the line. But as I reached 160, I knew I had to push more. It encouraged me to go further," he said.
Although he discovered a patient side to himself he hadn't seen before, Mayers said he doesn't want this innings to define him. "This was my longest innings. I learned that I can be patient. I learned that I could just stay at the crease and don't look at the scoreboard or the conditions, and bat as long as possible. Patience was my learning curve from this game.
"I am a student of the game. I will try to learn as much from this innings and take it to the next game where I start from zero. I don't want to be a one-hit wonder, I want to be successful and consistent for the duration of my career. I always believe that scoring runs is important," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84