A breathtaking spell from Kemar Roach in the first session of day one saw Bangladesh bundled out for 43, their lowest ever total in a Test match innings and the lowest total on Caribbean soil. Cummins and Holder supported Roach’s spell to round up the visitors in 18.4 overs.
The speedy collapse of the Bangladesh batting order justified the Windies skipper’s decision to send them in to bat on the green tinged pitch. The stage was well set for the Windies seamers who have been in excellent form. Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel were right on the money, beating their opponents’ outside edge on many occasions. Roach made the first breakthrough in his third over.
Tamim Iqbal was the first one to be dismissed. Bowling round the wicket, Roach channeled a length delivery on the off stump which just moved away. Tamim Iqbal fended off a delivery which he should have left alone, and a thin edge carried to a waiting Shane Dowrich.
In his next over, Roach picked up the wicket of Mominul Haque. A fuller length delivery outside the off tempted Mominul Haque to attempt a drive away from the body, catching a thick edge to Shai Hope at Gully. Bangladesh were 16/2 by the end of seventh over.
Bangladesh were already in a bad situation and the ninth over all but sealed the deal for the Windies, when Roach dismissing three of the most experienced Bangladesh batsmen for ducks in a single over. Mushfiqur Rahim lost his wicket off the second ball of the over. It was close decision by Umpire Richard Kettleborough, who had ruled him out on field. Mushfiqur after a discussion with his non-striker went for a review, only to see ‘umpires call’ on impact, which meant the decision was upheld.
Shakib Al Hasan was next in, captaining for the first time in Tests for seven years. Roach was indifferent to the occasion and dismissed him almost instantly with a short length delivery that moved away that picked up an edge and carried to third slip. Roach got the next batsman, Mahmudullah, with the very next delivery. He was unable to complete a hat-trick, but with Bangladesh having lost five wickets in his 12 balls, Roach had done plenty already.
The five wickets came at a price however, as Roach left the field after his fifth over to tend to his right knee which he had been clutching after the dismissal of Mominul Haque. At the end of his fifth over Roach had figures of 8/5.
There was no respite for Bangladesh despite Roach’s absence, with Miguel Cummins carrying the charge in his place. Nurul Hasan and Litton Das had the highest partnership in the Bangladesh innings with 16 runs. Cummins dismissed both of them in the 14th over to break the small momentum that Bangladesh were building. With 7 wickets down in the first 15 overs, the Windies pacers quickly tore through the lower order with Cummins and Holder sharing the five wickets not picked by Roach.
The Windies batsmen started their innings slowly with just three overs to play before Lunch. Openers Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite went on to make a 100-run partnership, the first century opening stand in 63 innings for the Windies, and the first since September 2014. Both the openers got to half-centuries. Devon Smith got lucky after Nurul Hasan dropped a fairly easy catch behind the stumps when he was batting on 34.
The 113 runs partnership was finally broken by debutant Abu Jayed in the 40th over. After Brathwaite completed his 50, Smith went after a ball that was going away from his body and caught an outside edge that carried into the keeper’s hand.
After the dismissal of Smith, Kieron Powell came in to bat at one down. Brathwaite combined with him to build another steady partnership of 81 for the second wicket. Kieron Powell was dismissed just two runs short of his 50 with just a few minutes left in the days play. Litton das took a good catch diving to his right at slips off Mahmudullah in the 65th over.
Brathwaite led the Windies innings with an unbeaten 88 of 204 balls. At the end of day’s play Windies were in comfortable position at a score of 201/2 and a lead of 158 runs.
Photo Credit - CWI Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks Latouche Photography