Two stand tall

beadottin, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 23 November 2012

1123darrenbravosweeping

KHULNA, Bangladesh – Marlon Samuels fashioned his fifth Test hundred and third this year to engineer a strong West Indies recovery on the second day of the second Test yesterday. The right-hander stroked an unbeaten 109, a responsible innings that pulled West Indies around from a dodgy position of 43 for two to reach 241 without further loss at the close at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. He has shared an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 198 with Darren Bravo who was eyeing his fourth Test century on 85. The pair came together after openers Chris Gayle (25) and Kieran Powell (13) had fallen cheaply before lunch, to leave the Windies on 62 for two at the interval. West Indies bowlers had earlier needed just under half-hour to wrap up the Bangladesh innings as the hosts were dismissed for 387 after resuming the morning on 365 for eight. Abul Hasan, who blitzed the tourists for a stunning unbeaten century on the opening day, carried on for 113 before he was last out to fast bowler Fidel Edwards who finished with six for 90. Mahmudullah, unbeaten on 72 overnight, added just four before becoming Sammy’s third wicket of the innings when he drove a return catch to the bowler’s right. Gayle and Powell started positively, putting on a breezy 37 before both fell within 17 balls of each other. With centuries in each innings of the last Test, Powell again looked in good touch. He got off the mark with a cover-driven boundary off off-spinner Sohag Gazi before stepping down the track a few overs later to loft the same bowler back overhead for another boundary. Seemingly rattled after being struck on the helmet by a short delivery from pacer Rubel Hossain, Powell perished four balls later when he pulled the right-armer to find Shakib Al Hasan at deep square leg. Gayle, who had earlier taken cover-driven boundaries off Gazi and seamer Abul Hasan, followed Powell when he brushed a sweep at a wayward delivery from the spinner and was superbly taken down the leg side by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. Samuels and Bravo then combined to rescue West Indies, playing cautiously against accurate bowling before lunch before blossoming nicely in the afternoon. Bothered early on by Shakib’s left-arm spin, Samuels grew in confidence to hammer 13 fours and a six, in an innings that has so far lasted 282 minutes and consumed 231 balls. Bravo, meanwhile, displaying restraint, counted just seven fours in his knock that has spanned six minutes shy of five hours and required 197 balls. After surviving several lbw appeals off Shakib, Samuels counter-attacked with a cover-driven four and followed up with a six over long on. He then reached his half-century with consecutive boundaries off Rubel Hossain – a cut to backward point and then a streaky hook to fine leg. Samuels kept his head down in the final session, eventually reaching his landmark with a classy drive through cover for four off Shakib, three overs before the close. Bravo was content to play the supporting role and quietly reached his half-century off 133 balls in the final session with his fourth boundary, a sweep off Mahmudullah’s off spin. (CMC)

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