DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Beleaguered West Indies were left needing a miracle to avoid a historic series defeat after yet again failing to survive a trial by spin, as Bangladesh took a stranglehold on the second and final Test after completely dominating the second day here yesterday.
Behind Mahmudullah’s career-best 136, captain Shakib-al-Hasan’s 80 and an attacking 54 from Liton Das, Bangladesh piled up a mammoth 508 – their second highest-ever total against West Indies – before the innings folded half-hour after tea at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan then snatched three for 36 while Shakib supported with two for 15 with his left-arm spin, to leave the West Indies innings in strife at 29 for five.
It was left to rookie left-hander Shimron Hetmyer with an unbeaten 32 and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, on 17 not out, to save West Indies from total embarrassment and guide the innings to the close on 75 for five.
The pair have so far added a gutsy 46 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand and with the Windies still trailing by 433 runs, much will lie on their shoulders on today’s day three as the last recognised batsmen.
Having suffered at the hands of the Bangladeshi spinners during their first Test defeat in Chittagong last weekend, West Indies fared little better in their attempt at redemption, as they were once again mesmerised by the slower bowlers.
All five dismissals were bowled, marking the first time in 128 years bowlers had achieved the feat.
Stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s wretched run continued when he fell to the sixth ball of the innings, bowled through the gate by Shakib without a run on the board.
His left-handed opening partner Kieran Powell survived 15 deliveries before he too followed in similar fashion, bowled between bat and pad by Mehidy for four and Sunil Ambris’s charge at Shakib was as desperate as it was ambitious, and he missed the drive and was also bowled for seven.
Three balls later in the next over, Shai Hope’s 30-ball grind over 10 came to an end when he became the fourth bowled victim of the innings by one from Mehidy which crept from back of a length and hit the base of off-stump.
When Roston Chase played down the wrong line first ball and lost his off-stump to Mehidy, West Indies were falling apart spectacularly.
But as they did in the first Test, Hetmyer and Dowrich once again came to the Caribbean side’s rescue, resisting the Bangladeshi spin assault for the remainder of the session.
The 21-year-old Hetmyer has so far struck three fours in a typically breezy 43-ball innings while Dowrich has opted for the sheet anchor role in a knock that has lasted 37 balls and included a single boundary.
Hetmyer suffered a scare on 10 when he was adjudged lbw to 17-year-old off-spinner Nayeem Hasan before finding a reprieve courtesy DRS. He carried on seemingly unfazed, however, using his feet to the spinners and finding boundaries down the ground.
Earlier, West Indies bowlers toiled in frustration as Bangladesh, starting the day on 259 for five, batted themselves into a near impregnable position.
Mahmudullah, unbeaten on 31 at the start, produced a magnificent innings which spanned 6-¼ hours, 242 deliveries and included 10 fours.
Pivotally, he stretched his overnight sixth wicket stand with Shakib to 111, keeping West Indies without any early success and seeing Bangladesh past the 300-run mark.
The left-handed Shakib played freely after resuming on 55, taking three consecutive boundaries off off-spinner Chase in the morning’s fourth over, before falling three overs later when he edged a loose drive at seamer Kemar Roach (2-61) and was caught at gully.
That breakthrough failed to improve the Windies fortunes as Mahmudullah and Das combined in a 92-run, seventh wicket partnership, which propelled Bangladesh to lunch on 387 for six.
Das played with abandon, striking eight fours and a six in a 62-ball cameo, reaching lunch on 53 before finally perishing in the fourth over afterwards, bowled by off-spinner Brathwaite (2-57) missing a sweep.
While Mehidy followed soon afterwards for 11, caught at the wicket off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-91), Mahmudullah provided even more pain for the Windies by anchoring a ninth-wicket 56-run with Taijul Islam (26) which pushed Bangladesh up to 471 for eight at tea.
Mahmudullah, unbeaten on 75 at lunch, reached his third Test hundred 20 minutes before tea when he cut Chase to the point boundary.
He was the last to fall, bowled by a full length delivery from Warrican after being dropped by Hope at slip three balls earlier in the same over.