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Windies pile it on

Marlon Samuels backing away to cut a delivery through the off-side during his Test-best 260 yesterday. The wicketkeeper is Bangladesh’s captain Mushfiqur Rahim. (AP Picture)

Sat, November 24, 2012 - 12:05 AM

KHULNA – Marlon Samuels scored a career-best 260 and Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul added centuries yesterday for West Indies to finish with a 177-run first innings lead over Bangladesh in the second cricket Test.

West Indies exploited the placid pitch to reach 564 for four at stumps, in reply to Bangladesh’s 387 on the third day of the second and final Test of the series at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.

Chanderpaul was 109 not out, his 27th Test century and Denesh Ramdin on four as the Windies enhanced their bid for a rare fourth straight Test victory and clean sweep of the series.

The visitors, already 1-0 up in the two-Test series, lost only two wickets during the day’s play.

Samuels and Bravo began the day on the overnight score of 241 for two, and Bravo joined Samuels as a century-maker, moving from 85 to his fourth Test century with a single down fine leg off the 221st ball he faced.

After Samuels passed his previous best Test score of 123, Bravo was out for 127, trapped lbw by Sohag Gazi, after several nicks fell short of slips. Bravo stepped back to cut and missed in the last over before lunch. He and Samuels put on 326 for the third wicket.

Samuels, on 191, was joined at the crease by Chanderpaul and they put on 177 for the fourth wicket.

In the next over, Chanderpaul brought up his 27th century and second of the series with a single off Gazi. He kissed the pitch. Chanderpaul needed 187 balls and smacked ten to the boundary and one over it.

Six overs after lunch, Samuels brought up his double century, flicking Rubel Hossain to square leg for a single becoming the 25th player from the Caribbean to score a Test double hundred.

Samuels had taken 329 balls to reach the landmark and hit 26 boundaries and three sixes.

They were untroubled in reaching tea at 462 for three, with Chanderpaul already on a half century.

Chanderpaul brought up his 27th century and second of the series with a single off Gazi just before the close off 187 balls with 10 fours and a six.

Samuels was disappointed when he was out for 260, seven overs before stumps, fending off a riser from Rubel Hossain and giving an easy catch at point to replacement fielder Elias Sunny.

“I’m definitely very disappointed that I did not pass 300, but a double-century is a double-century, and it’s a big milestone, so I guess I will have to allow it to sink in and enjoy the achievement,” he told reporters following the day’s play.

“To be honest, if I did not get out, I would have been waiting for the spinners to come back on to bowl. The ball was still new and it’s still a slow surface, and I would have been hitting sixes for the rest of the evening.

“I said before the series I wanted to score a few more international hundreds this year and so this would count as two in my mind, but I am looking forward to the One-Day Internationals to follow, and I’m sure everyone will enjoy watching.”

He said there was no secret to the rich vein of form that has accompanied him this year, yielding 866 runs at an average of 86.60 in seven Tests.

“My motivation is my family, my children, and being able to value life more,” he said. “I have continued to work hard and my work ethic is different. I’m eating right, staying fit, and so, all of this hard work is bearing fruit for me right now,” he said.

“After batting for so long, my body is still feeling good. All the work that I have put in to preparation, being on the field, batting, bowling and fielding, for hours is not a challenge for my body.”

Samuels struck 31 fours and three sixes from 455 balls in 618 minutes and was satisfied with the tempo of his innings.

“The way Bangladesh have played the game, it’s a slow pitch and they have placed a number of fielders on the boundary and they were tempting me to score over the top consistently,” he said.

“When I slowed down, I was just playing smart cricket because there were a number of singles that were there to be taken and I didn’t mind doing this until the fielders came closer and gave me the chance to score over the top.

“On these types of pitches, it calls for plenty of patience because you can’t just go out there and drive through the line, so you have to enjoy taking singles until the boundaries come.So you have to wait on the bad balls and try to rotate the strike as much as possible.”  (AP/EZS)

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