Mayers double hundred propels West Indies to surprising win
CHATTOGRAM – Debutant Barbadian batsman Kyle Mayers fashioned a superlative unbeaten double hundred to propel the West Indies to a miraculous fifth highest successful run chase in Test cricket and upset Bangladesh by three wickets here Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Set a challenging 395 for victory, the inexperienced West Indies side, missing most of their regular Test batsmen, showed tremendous character to make 395 for seven on the final day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
The left-handed Mayers stroked 20 fours and smashed seven stupendous sixes in his 310-ball match-winning unbeaten 210 to spearhead a breathtaking run chase.
Resuming from an overnight 110 for three and still needing 295 runs for the unlikely victory, the Windies defied the odds against Bangladesh’s battery of spinners.
It was the second highest successful run chase for the Caribbean side following their 418-7 against Australia, 18 years ago in Antigua which remains the highest by any team.
In the process, Mayers became the sixth batsman to score a double-century on debut, with his knock the second highest by a West Indies batsman on debut – only behind the legendary Lawrence Rowe who hit 214 against New Zealand.
Starting the day on 37, Man-of-the-Match Mayers found an ally in fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner who hit 86, and they featured in a game-changing 216-run fourth- wicket partnership that denied Bangladesh’s bowlers any success for the first two sessions.
Unbeaten on 79 at tea, Bonner departed in the first over after the interval after striking 10 fours and a six off 245 balls. When Jermaine Blackwood followed for nine, Bangladesh were back in the contest with the Windies stumbling to 292 for five.
However, Mayers dominated a 100-run, sixth wicket stand with Joshua Da Silva (20) which put the West Indies in sight of victory.
Da Silva and Kemar Roach (0) fell in the space of 14 balls late on but Mayers fittingly hit the winning runs with a single to mid-on off off-spinner Nayeem Hasan to earn the Windies a historic win.
“I am always a positive person. I always believe in my abilities and the team, and I always was positive. We never gave up,” the 28-year-old former Alexandra schoolboy said after the victory was achieved.
“We always said in the dressing room that we need to keep fighting. The captain and coach told the bowlers as well that you need to keep fighting on a pitch like this,” he added.
Mayers, whose father Shirley Clarke also played first-class cricket, said he hopes his innings serves as an inspiration for young cricketers.
“It’s a great feeling to be playing Test cricket. Then to go on and score a century, and then to make it a double, and then going on to win this Test. I would like to thank my teammates, my coaches and family back home. A guy making his debut and making a double should inspire all youngsters to work hard and reach this level.” (EZS/CMC)