With the brilliance of Lara and Sarwan's bat, West Indies took the advantage at the end of second day. We saw the vintage Lara, only this time it was against us. A steady flow of runs from the two maestros of the West Indies added an astonishing 140 runs in the last session. They overhauled Bangladesh first innings total before Lara was caught off Rafique at 119.
Just as expected, after tea, Lara hit 3 fours in a row in the 46th over. Taposh yielded 15 runs in that one. It was Tareq's turn in the very next over, got hit for 4 by the master blaster. Mushfiq was brought back in the 49th over. There was a huge appeal for lbw on the 2nd delivery, which was turned down. Lara, the class act, responded with yet another 4 in the next delivery, bringing up his 50, off 54, (six 4s, two 6s.) Sarwan joins the party next over, another boundary off Taposh. The audience immensely enjoyed the slog fest.
Lara survived one run out scare in the 57th over - Rafique's throw off mid off misses the stumps. That was the only flaw in this masterpiece of an innings (until he was out). At the end of the 60th over, West Indies was firmly dictating the ball at 216/2, Sarwan on 82, Lara on 71. At this point, Sarwan begun to take the supporting role while BC Lara charged ahead. He picked the deliveries at will, hitting them at every direction. Rana got hit for yet another 6 from Lara in over 66. Lara reached his 26th Test century a couple of overs later. The feat brought the crowd to its feet, off 121 balls, ten 4s, three 6s.
The misery was compiled for Bangladeshi bowlers, when Lara turned up his aggression, only this time, Sarwan stepped up also, for his ton. Sarwan did take his time getting to the 3-digit mark. The sin of dropped catches came to haunt the visitors, Sarwan's fifth test hundred came off 176 deliveries with eleven 4s.
Only highlight for Bangladesh was the prized scalp of the King, nicked a well-disguised Rafique delivery, again in to the gloves of reliable Masud. Pilot held both of his catches today. If only this was the case for Hannan, Mushfiq and Tareq, things would have looked brighter. Bangladesh would like to bring the attack to the West Indies early on tomorrow morning, starting with the head of the night watchman Tino Best. Although Sarwan is still not out, at the end of day 2, this match is very much alive. There's plenty of cricket left here, anything can happen.
The second session belonged to the West Indies here at Sabina Park. The Bangladeshi bowlers had no success. The only wicket came from a run out from a brilliant direct hit from Ashraful. Devon Smith runs himself out for the second time this series.
On his first delivery after lunch, Mushfiq was greeted with a 4 from Sarwan. In the next over, Hannan dropped the easiest catch of the day of Tapash's bowling, giving Sarwan a life. This was Hannan's 3rd spill of the series. At this point some inspired bowling from Mushfiq and Rafiq kept the runs checked, although Sarwan played the role of the perfect aggressor. He was 35 off 35 at end of 24th over, after hitting two boundaries off Tapash.
Rana was introduced in the attack at the 33rd over. His length was not always there and the batsmen put away the short ones to the fence. After Devon Smith was run out on 44, Lara came to bat and immediately went to the task. He hit the first 6r of the match off Rana, although the ball may have touched the boundary rope there. Sarwan completed a well played fifty from only 58 deliveries, hitting no less than 8 boundaries.
The ominous signs of Lara's hunger begun emerging with another skier off Rafiq in the 42nd over. His shots, 2 fours and 2 sixes, looked clean, confident and well-timed as usual, forcing Bashar to bring the medium pacers back in to the attack. Lara raced to 31 off 43, well-matched by Sarwan at 60. The last session may holds promises for sheer pain from Bangladesh, by the looks of things. West Indies at 154 for 2 at tea.
Honors are even at the end of the first session on the second day. The brave tail enders of Bangladesh lasted a further 5 overs this morning, adding 20 more valuable runs. The runs came from their bats while the West Indian pacers bowled with controlled aggression. It was Tapash that fell to Pedro Collins, but not before scoring our team high of 48, studded with 8 clobbers to the boundary. Tareq once again provided support while playing 16 more deliveries. Bangladesh finished the first innings on 284. Pedro Collins ended up with the figures of 19-2-64-3.
Bangladesh attack started with Tapash bowling good line and length, while Tareq venting some heat. Tareq reaped his reward by taking his first test wicket 11 overs in to West Indies Innings. The danger man, Gayle nicked an outswinger right into the trusty gloves of Khaled Masud. He scored a meager 14 runs, while the West Indies scoreboard was at 29. This was quite a blow for the host. At this point, Bangladesh looked like the hunter, instead of being the hunted.
In the following 6 overs 'til lunch, the picture has begun to change rapidly. Sarwan has quickly settled down. With Devon Smith opening up, they have since added 34 runs at a high rate of 6.18 per over. Mushfiq is facing most of the slogging, it seems. Rafiq's introduction at the end of the 15th over did not stem the flow, although he has only bowled 1 over so far. Bangladesh's plight of the first Test of dropping catches has come right back to hunt them once again with Tareq spilling Smith in the 16th over. Sarwan has survived a strong lbw appeal. Bangladesh would be eager to see which one of the bowlers can step up and gain the controls back. Score at lunch: West Indies 60 for 1, Sarwan at 15 and Smith at 28.
Contributor: Masum Billah