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WI end first day on 246-3

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

WI end first day on 246-3

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CASTRIES (AP) — Opening batsmen Leon Johnson and Kraigg Brathwaite hit half centuries as the West Indies built a strong first-day total of 246-3 against Bangladesh in the second cricket test at Beausejour Stadium on Saturday.

Left-hander Johnson, on debut, compiled 66 off 162 balls. He struck five fours and a six.

Brathwaite, fresh off a double century in the first test victory, struck 63 off 150 deliveries. He hit five boundaries.

The pair shared an opening stand of 143, a first-wicket record for the West Indies against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh struck back with three quick wickets either side of tea, but Darren Bravo (44 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (34 not out) shared a resolute, unbroken stand of 61 in the final session to stall the visitors.

Seamer Shafiul Islam (1-37) was the most impressive of the Bangladesh bowlers, while off spinner Mahmudullah (1-25) and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (1-48) supported well.

The West Indies, in their landmark 500th test, made an assured start after being sent in by Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim.

Brathwaite and Johnson carefully crafted an unbeaten morning session, going to lunch at 61-0 with precious few alarms.

Midway through the second session, both batsmen brought up their half centuries in the same over.

Johnson arrived there first, off 135 balls, while Brathwaite reached his 50 more emphatically, spanking Robiul Islam for his third boundary.

Bangladesh managed to claw their way back with the wickets of both openers just before tea.

Shafiul made the initial breakthrough when Brathwaite chased a short, wide delivery and slapped a catch to backward point.

Johnson, who benefitted from a let-off in Shafiul’s previous over when his edge flew past leaden-footed wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, eventually fell lbw to Taijul’s arm ball.

Johnson’s decision to try to use the DRS review system came too late, and he was left frustrated when TV replays suggested the ball was drifting past leg stump.

Bangladesh should have added another wicket before tea, but Kirk Edwards’ sliced drive was grassed by Taijul at backward point off Shafiul.

The let-off did not prove too costly as Edwards (16) drove Mahmudullah to short extra cover to leave the hosts’ on 185-3.

Bravo smacked two straight sixes off Taijul and added two fours before settling in to forge a determined association with fellow left-hander Chanderpaul.

Chanderpaul survived the third chance that Bangladesh failed to grasp throughout the day when on 4. Nasir Hossain at second slip dropped a chance diving in front of first slip off Al-Amin Hossain.

Bravo faced 96 balls in 155 minutes while 40-year-old Chanderpaul, playing his 158th test, hit three fours in 84 balls in 103 minutes.