Powell, Chanderpaul tons help Windies dominate first day’s play
DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul carved out his 26th Test century to pull level with the peerless Sir Garfield Sobers while rookie Kieran Powell stroked his second, as West Indies dominated the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh here yesterday.
Chanderpaul finished on 123 not out and Powell grabbed his share of the spotlight with a special 117, to help propel the visitors up to 361 for four at the Shere Bangla Stadium.
The duo, at contrasting stages of their careers, added 125 for the fourth wicket after West Indies had stuttered to 106 for three moments before lunch.
Chanderpaul, at age 38 and in his 145th Test, faced 195 balls and struck 17 fours in an innings that has so far lasted a minute short of four hours.
The 22-year-old Powell, meanwhile, cracked 18 fours and a six off 178 balls in just over four hours at the crease, to collect his third century in 12 Tests and second in his last three outings.
When Powell departed just after tea to give debutant off-spinner Sohag Gazi (3-97) his third wicket, Chanderpaul remained to add 130 for the fifth wicket with Denesh Ramdin who was unbeaten on 52 at the close.
Chanderpaul is now only behind the prodigious Brian Lara on the West Indies all-time list of century-makers. Lara has 34.
Entering the contest short of match practice after their three-day warm-up fixture was cancelled, West Indies showed little signs of rustiness as they flourished in good conditions.
Flamboyant opener Chris Gayle gave the innings a high-octane start, welcoming Gazi to the international arena with two straight sixes in the first over of the day.
The big-hitting left-hander looked in fine touch, collecting successive driven boundaries in the fourth over sent down by seamer Shahadat Hossain, as West Indies sped to 31 without loss.
Gayle’s luck soon ran out with just one run added, however, as he tried to clear the field with Gazi in the next over but only succeeded in holing out to long-off for 24.
Powell then put on 42 for the second wicket with left-hander Darren Bravo (14) and another 32 with Marlon Samuels (16) for the third wicket, but lost both just when they seemed set.
Bravo, playing his first Test in nearly five months after recovering from injury, stroked three boundaries before squirting an ambitious drive to Rubel Hossain at point off Gazi.
Samuels, who also counted three fours, fell in the last over before lunch, pulling a short one from Shahadat Hossain to Gazi in the deep.
Bangladesh’s attack was then blunted after the interval as Powell and Chanderpaul combined to put the visitors in charge. Powell reached his half-century with his sixth boundary, a pull off Shahadat Hossain, and then celebrated with a superb drive back down the ground.
Playing with equal authority against the spinners, he used his feet to lift Gazi over the infield for four and overs later, picked up consecutive off-side boundaries off the right-armer to move into the 80s.
He cruised into the 90s with a sparkling cover drive off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan and eventually went past three figures with fine sweep off the same bowler for another boundary.
Powell went into overdrive the next over, reeling off three successive sweetly timed boundaries off Shahadat Hossain.
Chanderpaul, meanwhile, busily gathered his runs in typically workman-like fashion, and was unbeaten on 42 at tea off 99 balls with four boundaries.
He lost Powell in the second over after the break, bowled attempting to pull one from Gazi that kept a trifle low.
Unfazed, Chanderpaul marched to his half-century with a cover-driven boundary off Shakib Al Hasan and in partnership with Ramdin, further frustrated the Bangladeshi bowlers.
He made his way into the 90s by picking off boundaries almost at will and flicked off-spinner Nasir Hossain fine for 13th four to move to 99, before reaching his century with a short single.
Ramdin, almost unnoticed reached his ninth Test half-century, and has so far struck five fours in an innings lasting 88 balls and 114 minutes.
WEST INDIES 1st innings
C Gayle c Mahmudullah b Sohag Gazi 24
K Powell b Sohag Gazi 117
D Bravo c Rubel Hossain b Sohag Gazi 14
M Samuels c Sohag Gazi b Shahadat Hossain 16
S Chanderpaul not out 123
+D Ramdin not out 52
Extras (lb7, w1, nb7) 15
TOTAL (4 wkts, 90 overs) 361
To bat: *D Sammy, V Permaul, S Narine, T Best, R Rampaul.
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Gayle), 2-74 (Bravo), 3-106 (Samuels), 4-231 (Powell)
Bowling: Sohag Gazi 32-6-97-3, Shahadat Hossain 14-0-73-1 (nb7), Rubel Hossain 9-0-54-0 (w1), Mahmudullah 7-0-29-0, Shakib Al Hasan 19-2-69-0, Naeem Islam 8-1-24-0, Nasir Hossain 1-0-8-0.
BANGLADESH – *+Mushfiqur Rahim Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Junaid Siddique, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Sohag Gazi, Shahadat Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: R Illingworth, and B Oxenford; TV – Enamul Haque.