WIndies 2-153 at tea against Bangladesh


GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia, Sept 13 AFP – Debutant Leon Johnson and Kraigg Brathwaite completed a record opening partnership for the West Indies against Bangladesh but the tourists hit back to have the home side at 2-153 at tea on the opening day of the second and final Test at the Beausejour Stadium on Saturday.


Playing his first Test match due to the unavailability of veteran opening batsman Chris Gayle, Johnson got to 66 and Brathwaite contributed 63 in a stand of 143 which eclipsed the previous record established by Gayle and fellow-Jamaican Wavell Hinds in Dhaka in 2002.

Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo were the batsmen set to resume into the final session of the day, although the Bangladeshis have only themselves to blame for not adding the wicket of Edwards just before the interval as Taijul Islam floored a diving effort at backward-point off Shafiul Islam.

It was Shafiul who had made the breakthrough as Brathwaite essayed a shot that was completely out of character, chasing a very wide delivery and succeeding only in slicing a catch to Taijul in the same position of backward point.

Taijul then struck almost immediately with Johnson being judged leg-before as he prodded half-forward.

The 27-year-old left-hander deliberated too long before requesting a television review of the decision and was left to regret his tardiness with replays suggesting that the delivery would have spun past leg stump.

Johnson had displayed a much more positive intent in the afternoon period following a nervy first morning of Test cricket.

Brathwaite, fresh from a patient double-century in the first Test in St Vincent a week earlier, also stepped up the pace.

After crawling to 61 in the first two hours of the day, the pair accelerated without taking too many risks immediately after lunch with the inexperience and general ineffectiveness of the Bangladeshi bowling exposed once again.

Given first use of a pitch offering considerably more assistance to the faster bowlers than was evident at any stage of the first Test, Bangladesh’s trio Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam and Robiul Islam wasted the opportunity to make early inroads in a relatively inexperienced batting line-up.

All three sprayed deliveries repeatedly down the leg side and hardly beat the bat.

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