Windies lead nears insurmountable proportions

Bangladesh

An unbeaten half-century from the characteristically patient Shivnarine Chanderpaul carried the West Indies to a formidable second-innings score of 208 for four – and fat 427-run lead – on day three of the second and final Test against Bangladesh at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Monday.

An unbeaten half-century from the characteristically patient Shivnarine Chanderpaul carried the West Indies to a formidable second-innings score of 208 for four – and fat 427-run lead – on day three of the second and final Test against Bangladesh at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Monday.

Left-hander Chanderpaul, in his 158th Test, struck five fours off 98 balls. He shared an undefeated fifth-wicket stand of 108 with rookie Jermaine Blackwood, who compiled 43 not out. The right-hander hit a four and a six off 96 deliveries.

The innings had earlier been anchored by Kraigg Brathwaite (45) and Leon Johnson (41) in an opening stand of 76. Mohammad Mahmudullah, who hit a top-score of 53 in Bangladesh's innings, returned to grab two for 37 with his off-spin.

There was a wicket apiece for seamer Shafiul Islam (one for 21) and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (one for 76). The West Indies, leading one-nil in the two-match series, encountered dogged resistance from Mahmudullah and the lower order when Bangladesh started the day on 104 for seven.

All-rounder Mahmudullah stretched his frustrating eighth-wicket stand with Shafiul to 45 before the West Indies finally broke through. Mahmudullah became the 11th Bangladeshi to 1,000 Test runs when he reached 32 but soon lost Shafiul, who edged through to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin off the persevering Shannon Gabriel (one for 49). Shafiul resisted for 50 deliveries in making 10.

That dismissal energized Mahmudullah, who smacked a six over midwicket off Gabriel and brought up his half century with his second four. But left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn ended his 161-minute vigil soon afterward as he edged a cut to give Ramdin his fifth catch of the innings.

Benn quickly added the scalp of Robiul Islam (zero), lbw sweeping, to finish with two for 19. The West Indies, whose healthy advantage had been set up by fast bowler Kemar Roach (five for 42) on day two, opted not to enforce the follow-on, and Brathwaite and Johnson soon consolidated the hosts' supremacy.

The pair, which added 143 in the first innings, seemed set for another century stand when Bangladesh struck back either side of tea to stall the West Indies' progress.
Johnson, on debut, hit eight fours in 41 off 59 balls before he yorked himself as he advanced down the pitch to Taijul.

That wicket boosted Bangladesh and Shafiul added the scalp of Kirk Edwards for two. Out-of-form Edwards deflected a low catch to gully. Brathwaite and Darren Bravo labored in a partnership of 16 before both fell to Mahmudullah in the final session.

Bravo (seven) was bowled off the inside edge and back pad while Brathwaite, after hitting three fours and his first six in Test cricket, edged to first slip. At 100 for four, the innings was at the crossroads but 40-year-old Chanderpaul, in his typically unfussed manner, and right-hander Blackwood, 18 years his junior, defied Bangladesh for the rest of the day.

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