Reliving Windiesí Loss to Bangladesh in Chittagong

Wed, Nov 28, '18



In a Test which was scheduled to run up until early Monday morning, the West Indies and Bangladesh played out a rather entertaining three-day contest in which the hosts emerged victorious by 64 runs. In a cricketing nation where; win toss > bat first > win Test match is usually the order of the day, much rested on the first innings bowling performance of Windies after being asked to field first by Shakib Al Hasan. After three matches on the side-lines, three deliveries into his return, Kemar Roach’s 2018 Test form resumed normalcy by inducing a left-hander’s outside edge, calling Dowrich into action to leave Bangladesh at 4 for 1 after 1.

Roston Chase would have assumed Dowrich’s role two overs later had he been able to accept Imrul Kayes’ gift of an outside edge instead of handing the “leftie” a lifeline. Indiscipline was to mar Windies bowling performance even further as Warrican overstepped while gifting Kayes yet another reprieve after he holed out to deep square. Trust West Indies to ensure that Chase’s mistake wasn’t an incident, nor was Warrican’s a coincidence, but to make it a pattern when Dowrich followed suit by giving Mominul a “lifeline” on 67 in the 35th over.

It took a Shannon Gabriel resembling the one from Windies’ tour of the UAE back in 2016 – realizing that pace in pace regardless of the continent but intelligent enough to keep his length up while varying his angles (at pace) – to help West Indies claw their way back into the match at stumps on Day 1. Even at 324 all out in the fifth over of Day 2, on a wicket which showed signs of gripping even on Day 1, Bangladesh were still large and in charge.

With the top-order leaving it all on the lower-order (surprise, surprise) to stutter to 246, it meant that West Indies would be tasked with dismissing the hosts for next to nothing, at second attempt, to stand a chance. However, it was not to be and West Indies were taught the value of first innings deficits in these conditions.

There were several talking points from the match including the pitch, Brathwaite’s defensive captaincy (even on Day 1) and Gabriel getting himself suspended for the Mirpur Test.

In the defence of a Chittagong pitch which has gone from one extreme to the other, after producing 1533 runs over five days earlier this year and was consequently rated ‘below average’ by the ICC, Bangladesh’s coach expressed that to experience spinning wickets on the subcontinent is no different from experiencing pacey wickets in the Caribbean, stating “that’s the beauty of playing all around the world”.

A more proactive approach will be required from Captain Brathwaite in the field if the visitors harbour any hopes of squaring this series, especially as they will be without their talisman Gabriel in the must-win second Test.