Mayers hits 126*; West Indies surge ahead of Bangladesh

SUMMARY: Bangladesh 234 all out from 64.2 overs (Litton Das 53, Tamim Iqbal 46, Najmul Hossain Shanto 26, Shoriful Islam 26; Alzarri Joseph 3-50, Jayden Seales 3-53, Anderson Phillip 2-30, Kyle Mayers 2-35) trail West Indies 340-5 from 106 overs (Kyle Mayers 126*, Kraigg Brathwaite 51, John Campbell 45, Jermaine Blackwood 40*, Joshua DaSilva 26*; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 2-68, Khaled Ahmed 2-77, Shoriful Islam 1-49) by 106 runs


West Indies marched into the lead and claimed honours for a second straight day in St. Lucia on the back of Kyle Mayers’ second Test match century.

The all-rounder helped the hosts wade through a tricky phase just before lunch during which they lost three wickets for a run and by stumps his unbeaten 126 took West Indies to 340-5, a commanding lead of 106 with five first-innings wicket still in hand.

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Mayers, who made his name with a famous double century on debut in Chittagong, proved to be the scourge of Bangladesh once more on a day the visitors had given themselves a chance of a comeback, in the match as well as in the series.

At 132-4, West Indies were still 102 runs away from Bangladesh’s first-innings score and in some strife. Mayers joined forces with vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (40) and the pair added 116 runs through a wicketless second session that effectively snuffed out the big Bangladesh hope.

The visitors had roared back into the contest through a 15-ball spell late in the opening session when they struck thrice after succeeding in their attempts to get the umpires to get the ball changed.

Amid Bangladesh’s bite and bounce, Mayers and Blackwood endured a rough few minutes going into the lunch break.

But when play resumed for the second session, the left-handed Mayers led a calculative counter. He slashed a boundary off Ebadot Hossain and then lofted the dangerous Mehidy Hasan for six over his head.

That and a pair of leg-bye fours gnawed at the deficit quickly enough for Shakib Al Hasan to withdraw his attacking fielders. That opened up the opportunities for quick strike rotation which Mayers and Blackwood lapped up.

Mayers hit 27 off the first 29 balls he faced, which included a reprieve of sorts when an outside edge bisected the stationed first slip and the wider third slip fielders.

The first 10 overs of the session bought 41 runs, allowing the batting pair to hunker down and milk the bowling thereafter. Blackwood played the support role in the partnership but was quick on the uptake to any run-scoring opportunities.

Mehidy, who used the cross breeze-aided drift to castle half-centurion Kraigg Brathwaite in the first session, proved to be less effective through the second session, forcing Shakib to bring himself on.

The Bangladesh captain, however, proved to be non-threatening to the batting. The pair bought up the century stand and a little later moved West Indies into a first-innings lead.

There was some fight still left in the visitors and that was down largely to the availability of the second new ball. They produced the second-best phase of the day in the lead up to that 80th over when Mehidy trapped Blackwood LBW in the middle of 29 straight dot balls to start the final session.

Mayers was effectively slowed down too. But that was about Bangladesh managed as the second new ball undid most of their good work. The hard new ball pinged off Mayers’ bat and the lead swelled.

There were a handful of fortuitous boundaries when edges flew between and over onlooking slip fielders but otherwise Mayers’ off-side game was on point.

He ended the day with 15 fours and 2 sixes.

The second of those sixes – a pull over square leg – gave Mayers his second Test ton and brought the dressing room to its feet. Joshua Da Silva dropped anchor alongside him, batting 106 deliveries in the final session for his unbeaten 26.

The sixth wicket partnership reached 92 before play ended for the day.

Earlier in the morning, overnight batters Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell completed West Indies’ first century opening stand since July 2018 before Bangladesh’s fight back. Shoriful Islam bounced Campbell out before Brathwaite was done in by Mehidy’s drift.

Khaled Ahmed used the uneven bounce of the pitch to force two dragons in one over but thereafter the Bangladesh bowling attack was rendered ineffective by the brilliance of Mayers. (cricbuzz)

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