Cricket West Indies (CWI) has congratulated the West Indies team on the record-breaking victory against Bangladesh in the first Test match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.

Led by an amazing double century by Kyle Mayers on debut, West Indies made 395-7 to win by three wickets. He made 210 not out and shared a superb partnership of 216 with fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner, who made 86.

The superb batting performance was the second-highest score in a successful run chase in West Indies Test history and the highest run chase in a Test match in Asia.

 CWI President Ricky Skerritt lauded team and their performance, which brought great joy to West Indies supporters around the world.

“Congratulations to Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and our entire squad for an exceptional display of composure and desire,” Skerritt said in a statement.

“Led by debutant Kyle Mayers, it was a fighting team performance overall. The people of our region should walk a little taller today and the challenges of COVID-19 should temporarily be overshadowed by this astonishing West Indies Test victory. The hard work will continue.”

Mayers was named Man-of-the-Match for the knock that turned the match around for the West Indies.

Debutant Kyle Mayers made an unbeaten fourth-innings 210 to lead West Indies to the highest successful Test run chase in Asia.

Bangladesh declared in Chattogram to set the Windies a target of 395, which seemed improbable when Mayers arrived at the crease, batting at number five and joining the fray at 59-3.

But the new man, who made 40 in his first innings, joined Nkrumah Bonner to put on 216 for the next wicket and swing momentum back in the tourists' favour on Sunday.

Mayers later did the heavy lifting in another three-figure partnership with Joshua Da Silva, too, and was fittingly the man to scramble the match-winning single with 15 balls remaining in the first Test - and three wickets to spare.

His stunning display sealed the fifth-highest successful chase in the history of the format, a new benchmark in Asia and the best anywhere since 2008.

Mayers survived 310 balls in 415 minutes as he scored 20 fours and seven sixes.

"I have a few centuries in domestic cricket, but this is very special to me," the 28-year-old said.

"It's my highest score and the longest I've ever batted in first-class cricket. It's very special to me to get a double in my first Test match."

Mayers became just the sixth batsman to score a double century on his Test debut and the sixth to pass 200 in a fourth innings.

Only Mayers has combined the two and recorded a double hundred in the fourth innings of his bow in the longest format.

Mayers - with just five limited-overs internationals to his name, his highest score 40 - was driven by the team's need to break new ground on day five, although he tried not to be distracted by a scoreboard that increasingly read in the Windies' favour.

"Truly, I was not looking at the target," he said.

"I was just trying to stick to my game plan for as long as possible, try not to look at the scoreboard, try to bat as long as possible and know within myself that, if I bat the whole day, my team will come across the line.

"The hundred was on the cards for me personally, yes, but I knew the team needed me to score more than 100.

"Batting, I was always thinking of scoring 150 - I thought, at the beginning of the day, if I score 150, 160, my team will be in good stead to cross the line.

"But as I reached 160, I knew that I had to push more and it just encouraged me to go further."

Barbadian Test debutant Kyle Mayers said a strong belief in self and never giving up were keys his match-winning performance for the West Indies against Bangladesh on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers scored a double century on his Test debut as the West Indies pulled off a miraculous come-from-behind three-wicket win over Bangladesh at Chattogram, reaching their target of 395 for the loss of seven wickets.

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, is looking for a solid first hour from set batsmen Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner, and the team battles to save the match against Bangladesh on the final day.

At stumps, the West Indies needed another 285 to overhaul the home team for victory.  Although it is the West Indies that holds the record for the highest fourth innings, which was 418 against Australia in 2002, few would bet on the current inexperienced campaigners going anywhere close.

With the team scoring below 250 in seven of its last 12 innings, the team could be forgiven to ensure that it simply did not lose the first test.  In order to secure a result, however, Cornwall believes the first hour of the final day will be crucial and looks to the batsmen continuing to stymie the Bangladesh bowling attack.

“Two guys are crease, set.  They just have to come out again tomorrow and start over again,” Cornwall said at the end of the day’s play.

“The first hour is going to be crucial and we can just take it from there.”

For his part, Cornwall has had a tidy bowling effort, claiming 3 for 81 in the second innings and 2 for 114 in the first.  

 

West Indies batsmen Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers cobbled together an unbroken 51-run partnership, for the moment staving off a relentless Mehidy Hasan, as the team closed day four at 110 for 3, still needing another 285 for victory against Bangladesh.

Mehidy, who punished the Caribbean team with a first-innings century, tore through the top half of the Windies batting order after claiming 3 for 52 to close the evening session.  The spinner struck for Bangladesh after a solid start from the West Indies, which saw skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and left-hander John Campbell post 39 runs in an hour for the first wicket.

Early on, Campbell was more than ready and willing to deploy the sweep shot against the spinners.  He cashed in for four 4s, in his 23, but was eventually undone after missing one from Mehidy and being trapped lbw.  Brathwaite, in the meantime, showed solid footwork against the spin but was let down by hard hands after a defensive stroke offered against Mehidy went bat-pad to short leg and was gobbled up by Yasir Ali.

Shayne Mosely contributed 12 before also being trapped lbw, which meant the West Indies lost three wickets for 20 runs and found themselves struggling at 59-3.

Coming together to stabilize the innings, Bonner and Mayers used different tactics to see out the day.  Mayers was more aggressive for an unbeaten 37, while the more watchful Bonner accumulated 15 from 63.

In the morning session, Bangladesh skipper Momimul Haque registered his 10th Test century as they declared at 223-8. He was the second wicket for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who bagged 2-37.

 Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was again the most successful bowler with 3-57 off 17.5 overs, to end with match figures of 7-190 off 65.5 overs. He bowled well in tandem with off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who picked up 3-81 off 27 overs. He took 2-144 off 42.2 overs in the first innings.

Bangladesh kept a firm grip on the first Test against the West Indies on Friday, leading by 218 runs with seven second-innings wickets still in hand at Chattogram.

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has targeted forming crucial partnerships as the team continues its pursuit of Bangladesh’s first innings total when play resumes on day 3.

The opening batsman has led by example for far, as he dug in for a patient 49 of 81 balls to anchor the early chase of Bangladesh’s first innings score of 430.

In terms of building partnerships, however, the team has already had some early wobbles with John Campbell (3) and Shayne Moseley (2) being sent back to the pavilion early.  Both were dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman.

Brathwaite will no doubt be hoping that Nkrumah Bonner, who had a solid showing in the three-day warm-up match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, will be part of the first significant partnership of the innings.  Bonner has so far stroked a watchful 17 from 58 balls.

“It’s key to get runs on the board.  We did well getting to 70-odd for two and we just have to look to build partnerships tomorrow,” Brathwaite said at the end of play.

“I’m looking for a big first innings, which will be crucial, a big first-innings total on the board,” he added.

The batsman believes the team should be aided by a pitch that is good for batting, which he expects to hold up.

“I thought it (pitch) played well today.  Not much spin, some balls did spin but the bounce is quite true, it’s not too low.  I think it will hold up for the next day, day and a half and possibly, day four, day five, it will start to wear a little bit,” he added.

 

Bangladesh are in a commanding position at stumps of the second day of the first Test against the West Indies as Mehidy Hasan Miraz scored his maiden Test century to help steer the home side to 430 all out at Chattogram. At the end of play, the West Indies were 75 for 2 still 355 runs behind.

With Bangladesh resuming from their overnight 242 for 5, with Shakib Al Hasan on 39 and Liton Bas on 34, the West Indies had an early breakthrough when Warrican, 3 for 58 overnight, bowled Das for 38 to have the home side 248 for 6.

However, the visitors were made to toil as Mehidy Hasan Miraz scored his first Test century while featuring in three partnerships that spurred a lower-order rally that gradually pushed his side into the ascendancy.

Mehidy put on 67 with Shakib Al Hasan (68) for the seventh wicket, 44 with Taijul Islam (18) for the eighth and then 57 with Nayeem Hasan (42) for the ninth before finally losing his wicket to Rahkeem Cornwall for 103.

The West Indies were made to pay for dropping him twice, on 24 and then on 85. He was first let off the hook by debutant Shayne Moseley who put him down at silly mid-off despite having two chances to hold on. The second chance was spilt by Cornwall at slip off the bowling of Nkrumah Bonner.

Warrican ended with figures of 4 for 133 while Cornwall had 2 for 114. There was a wicket each for Bonner, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.

In reply, the West Indies found batting difficult against the swing and accuracy of fast-medium bowler Mustafizur Rahman who trapped John Campbell (3) and Shayne Moseley (2) lbw as the visitors slumped to 24 for 2.

However, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite survived a few anxious moments to get to the close unbeaten on 49. Bonner is at the other end on 17.

West Indies left-arm spinner, Jomel Warrican, has credited discipline, accuracy, and strong field setting as crucial factors that enabled a three-wicket haul on day one of the first Test against Bangladesh, in Chittagong, on Tuesday.

At stumps, Warrican had claimed figures of the 3 for 58 as Bangladesh ended the day on 242 for 5.  Another wicket was claimed by pace bowler Kemar Roach with a run out accounting for the other.

The spinner could indeed have plenty of reason to delight in the field placing, and performance for that matter, as two of his wickets resulted from catches.  Firstly, John Campbell took a sharp catch at short midwicket after Mominul Haque lost some patience and failed to keep a lofted drive down.  The other was a brilliant catch at slip by Raheem Cornwall, after Mushfiqur Rahim attempted a defensive stroke that carried to the fielder.  In-between, the bowler ended the run of a dangerous looking Shadman Islam, when the batsman was given lbw just before tea.

“Being disciplined and accurate at the same time, as well as setting the right field,” Warrican responded when asked about the keys to his opening day success.

“I thought it best to bring them on the front foot as much as possible because when they play back they have a lot of time.  The more you bring them on the front foot is the more you ask questions,” he added.  

 

Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican took three wickets but Bangladesh held a slight edge at stumps of day one of the first Test against the West Indies at Chattogram today.

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, insists the team must be ready to take advantage of any rustiness on the part of the Bangladesh team but insists the hosts are firm favourites heading into the series.

The Bangladesh team has not played a Test since February when they faced Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.  The West Indies has in the meantime, played two-Test series against England and then New Zealand.

Relying on that statistic would, however, be slightly misleading as several of the West Indies' first-team players opted out of the tour, leaving the unit to rely on more inexperienced players for the tour.  In such circumstances and Bangladesh’s home record, Simmons is skeptical of there being any advantage but hopes the team will be able to captilise once there is.

“There could be a little bit of vulnerability early in the Test because they haven’t played any international Test cricket for a year now and getting back into it might expose some vulnerability early on," Simmons told members of the media.

“I’m sure that, that would be taken care of because they have a fairly experienced team, with the likes of Tamim and Shakib.  The experience is there so it might not last too long, but if it does happen, we have to take that opportunity and seize on it,” he added.

“Bangladesh will always have the edge no matter who they are playing at home.  They are a very strong side when they play at home.  So, they will always have the edge even when they haven’t played any cricket for a year.”

Bangladesh won the previous series, which consisted of three ODI matches, against the West Indies 3-0.

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Ricky Skerritt, is adamant that the recent refusal by senior players to take part in the ongoing tour of Bangladesh and the subsequent results must be framed within the broader context of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional team was on the wrong side of a 3-0 mauling, at the hands of Bangladesh, in a lopsided series that showed a tremendous gulf in quality between the two teams.

The result could not have been entirely unexpected, as a full-strength Bangladesh comfortably beat a full-strength West Indies team in 2019.  The Jason-Mohammed team that took the field last week had at least eight players making their international debut.

Skerritt’s administration has made it clear that players who opt out of tours during the pandemic will not be punished, believes that the threat that the disease poses to the players must be acknowledged.

“We have to deal with the reality that players are facing a tremendously stressful decision about their careers and whether they participate in cricket under risky situations; even though cricket West Indies and other boards are doing everything possible to minimize the risk,” Skerritt told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What do you do to get the best players on the park, when many of the best players are reluctant to travel and choose not to play?  Are you going to punish them? Are you going to say if you don’t play then you don’t play again ever, then you lose them forever?”

"I listen to some of the discussion’s about COVID and I wonder if we believe that COVID only affects us individually and we should be fearful, but players and others shouldn’t.  So what has happened with this particular tour and the two tours before, during COVID is that you could not get all of your best players on tour at the same time.”

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons hopes the relative experience of the Test team, compared to the One Day International (ODI) unit, will make for a more competitive showing against Bangladesh when the series bowls off next week.

World-class spinner Shakib Al Hasan and a full-strength Bangladesh made short work of the regional team in a lopsided 3-0 sweep of the ODI series last week.  The Windies went into the series without several of its regular first-team players who pulled out of the tour for various reasons.

The ODI team, which was captained by Jason Mohammed, was the hardest hit, however, with at least eight players making their international team debut.  With more proven campaigners like bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, and batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood, the Test team should be in better shape, in terms of experience in any case.

“It’s a big difference, we may have one, maybe two debutants for this Test series, whereas we had 10 for the ODI series.  So, it’s a huge difference,” Simmons said.

“The good thing is that those guys have been down here before.  On the last tour down here, Kraigg (Brathwaite) was captain, and Shannon and Roach were here.  So, it’s good to have that kind of experience going into a Test series,” he added.

The West will play Bangladesh in a two-Test series, which begins on February 2nd.  The second Test will take place between February 10th to 15th.

 

In-form West Indies middle-order batsman, Jermaine Blackwood, has credited brief advice received from top-class India batsman Virat Kohli as helpful in changing his mindset towards scoring runs.

The 29-year-old scored his first century against England in 2015, a plucky 112 unbeaten in a draw in Antigua.  Following that impressive achievement, however, Blackwood seemed unable to cross the double-digit threshold.  In fact, before finally breaking the streak with 104 against New Zealand, in December, Blackwood had managed to score 10 half-centuries in-between but always fell short of a triple-digit score.

Included in that number were some figures frustratingly well clear of the 50 mark, but falling just short of the 100 mark, when for all intents and purposed the batsman seemed well set to do so.  The tally includes three scores in the 90s.  He scored 92 against Sri Lanka, in Galle, in 2015; 95 against Pakistan, in Abu Dhabi, in 2016, and 95 against England, in Southampton, in July of last year.  Prior to that, Blackwood also registered 85 against England, in Bridgetown, in May 2015.  During India’s tour of the West Indies, Blackwood took the opportunity to seek the advice of run-machine Kohli when the two briefly interacted off the pitch.

“I just asked him how come all the time I score so many half-centuries and just one century, and he just replied, ‘What did you do when you scored the century? How many deliveries did you face?’ I said I faced 212, and he said that’s it, once you can bat some balls you will score runs,” Blackwood recalled.

“I took a lot from that and I’ve always told myself, after that conversation, once I can bat over 200 balls or 300, I’m going to score runs.  Once I’m there, the way I bat, I’m going to score runs regardless of who I’m playing against or where I’m playing.”

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