13 July 2009
Bangladesh has created history by winning the first ever away Test by defeating West Indies by 95 runs on the 5th day of the first Digicel Test against West Indies at St. Vincent today. The spin duo debutant Mahmudullah Riyad and stand-in-skipper Shakib-Al-Hasan ripped through the West Indies and shared 8 wickets between them. Mahmudullah grabbed 5 wickets in his debut Test while Shakib bagged 3 wickets with a fine display of spin bowling.
This is Bangladesh's second win in Test matches since their introduction in Test cricket in 2000. The first one came against Zimbabwe in January 2005. Although the win came against a weakened West Indies side, it will be hugely confidence boosting for Bangladesh who were struggling to find their feet at the top level.
Set 277 to win on the final day, the home team collapsed to 181 despite the absence of Bangladesh skipper and pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza who sustained knee ligament injury in the first innings and could not take on the field for the last three days of the Test match. Bangladesh's stand-in-skipper Shakib-Al-Hasan led the bowling unit from the front and used the limited bowling resource impeccably to guide the visitors to victory.
Earlier, Bangladesh crumbled on the fifth day morning and lost their last five wickets for only 23 runs. West Indies deputy skipper Darren Sammy ran through Bangladesh late middle order and picked 5 wickets for 70 runs. At that point the match was evenly poised with all three possibilities and West Indies started the run chase positively with flurry of boundaries in the early overs.
However, the opening came to Bangladesh rather unexpectedly when opener Dale Richards was found guilty of "umpire watching" outside the batting crease after a confident LBW shout against him and was run out by a direct through from Roqibul. Bangladesh regained the momentum and the spinners managed to put a plug on the run flow. Shakib kept things tight from one end while Mahmuduallh reaped the benefit from the other end as West Indies lost wickets at regular interval.
With the chance of victory fading away from the sight West Indies middle order and tailenders led by David Bernard put a remarkable fight back to draw the match. Bangladesh passed some anxious moments as Darren Sammy and Nikita Miller shared resistance with Bernard, but at the end batting 80 overs on a weary track proved too much for the inexperienced home side. David Bernard remained unbeaten on 52 as West Indies were bundled out for 181 in the final hour of the match.
Tamim Iqbal was adjudged man of the match for his maiden Test century which helped Bangladesh to set a formidable target in the second innings. The two sides will again meet on next Friday at St. George for the second and final Test of the series.