Bonner misses century again but Da Silva, Joseph stretch West Indies advantage


Mehidy Hasan one strike away from becoming fourth Bangladesh bowler with 100 Test victims

Lunch West Indies 325 for 6 (Bonner 90, Da Silva 70*, Joseph 34*, Jayed 2-75) vs Bangladesh

A career-best 90 from Nkrumah Bonner preceded a rollicking 59-run partnership between Joshua Da Silva (70*) and Alzarri Joseph (34*) as West Indies extended the advantage of having won the toss in the second Test in Dhaka, by adding 102 to their overnight 223 for 5 by lunch for the loss of just one colleague. That wicket, which denied Bonner his maiden century in successive innings now across his first two Tests, also brought Mehidy Hasan his 99th Test wicket, on the cusp of becoming the fourth Bangladesh cricketer with 100 victims in the format.

If Da Silva was caution personified, Joseph flexed his muscles as a batsman, tonking Mehidy and Taijul Islam for sixes over midwicket, and playing a delightful cover drive off Abu Jayed among his other five boundaries, as Bangladesh seemed short on ideas of how to stem the run flow.

Bonner’s wicket came on the back of a third successive sixth-wicket stand in excess of 50 for West Indies in this series, each of which has featured Da Silva. It had briefly ignited Bangladesh hopes of restricting West Indies below 300, but those stood extinguished as Da Silva and Joseph batted without any major discomfort through the rest of the morning. Da Silva was especially assured against the spinners, who have already begun to get a bit more turn on the Mirpur pitch, pulling out the reverse sweep on a few occasions, including one that brought him his second Test half-century.

When play began, Bangladesh were expected to turn the screws on the West Indies lower order on an overcast morning with the kind of discipline and consistency that they had showed in the middle session on Thursday, but Jayed’s first over set the tone for a brisk start for the batsmen instead. The first ball to Bonner strayed down his pads, and he was able to drive through midwicket for three. Da Silva was struck on the pads off the fourth ball of the over, but the angle was always taking it down leg. Captain Mominul Haque chose to review after it was given not out, though, and that meant they lost one of their three reviews. Da Silva celebrated his reprieve by thumping a short and wide delivery for four through point.

The first hour produced 51 runs off 14 overs, with seamers and spinners alike straying in line and length. Bonner was the more sedate player at the crease, with a flick off an overpitched delivery from Jayed his only boundary. Da Silva used the crease well to go deep and play the cut and the dab towards square leg to keep the runs coming. Haque had to turn to the offspin duo, and when Nayeem Hasan pitched one short, Bonner swatted a pull straight on to the right shoulder of Najmul Hossain Shanto at forward short-leg, who had to leave the field for treatment.

Perhaps distracted by that incident. Bonner would miss out on a Test century in successive innings, when a tentative poke to a Mehidy delivery, bowled from around the wicket, was smartly picked up by Mohammad Mithun at leg slip.

Da Silva and Joseph, though, would ensure that the early momentum with the West Indies was sustained through till the first break in play.

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