Sunny, who became only the fourth Bangladesh bowler to take a five-for on debut, made further inroads into the West Indies batting following an impressive show on the fourth day and set the stage for a significant lead, although he and his team were at the receiving end of a counterattack led by Darren Sammy. Shahriar Nafees batted fluently in the second innings to extend Bangladesh’s lead to 225. Mushfiqur Rahim made a sporting declaration, giving West Indies 37 overs to chase, but spread-out fields and the reluctance to take risks from both teams could only mean one result.
West Indies will be disappointed with their batting, though the track on the fourth and fifth days did offer significant assistance to the spinners. Going into the next Test in Mirpur, the visitors will want to sharpen their skills against the turning ball as they should expect to face a Bangladesh side armed with two spinners high on confidence.
The incisiveness of Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul was one positive for the West Indies, but the healthy dose of short and wide balls they doled out to the Bangladesh batsmen in both innings will be a worry. The highlight for West Indies on the final day was Sammy’s attacking half-century – a belated achievement for someone who’s played 17 Tests and is leading the side as a genuine allrounder.
The threat of a dispiriting collapse from West Indies, after Sunny dismissed Marlon Samuels early to collect his fifth wicket, was averted by a spunky, entertaining stand between Sammy and Carlton Baugh. Sammy shunned caution and did what he was most comfortable doing. He smashed Sunny over midwicket and mid-on off consecutive deliveries, before slashing him through point in his next over. Predictably, the field moved back, but that didn’t stop him. He slog-swept Shakib Al Hasan, who replaced Sunny, and drilled him through long-on for successive boundaries and there was more frustration for the hosts when Tamim Iqbal dropped him in the deep.
Baugh, in the interim, tackled Rubel Hossain, who was bowling quick. He was taken aback by a testing bouncer that he managed to fend away for four and replied imperiously, pulling Rubel through midwicket, delicately glancing him to the fine-leg boundary and hooking him in the same direction. The pair had added 60 runs in 41 balls, taken their team past 200, before Sunny returned for a new spell and bowled a sweeping Baugh round his legs. Sammy bludgeoned two massive sixes over long-on – one got him to his half-century – before swinging wildly and being bowled by one that kept low from Shakib, who finished the innings with three wickets.
Edwards and Rampaul attacked from round the wicket in the second innings, troubling the openers with bouncers and nipping out the wicket of Imrul Kayes, who edged a catch to the keeper. Samuels was threatening when he hit the rough and got the ball to shoot away, beating the outside edge from round the wicket. Tamim and Nafees, however, survived the early discomfort and batted fluently, capitalising on any width to dispatch the ball through their favoured off side. Tamim fell during one such attempt, being caught-behind, but Nafees, as he had done in the first innings, cut and drove with aplomb to reach a half-century. He chopped one on to the stumps shortly before tea, and the declaration came during the break.
Though West Indies lost Kraigg Brathwaite to Sunny in the first over of the chase, they kept watchers interested through some confident strokeplay from Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo. Simmons showed excellent control against pace, punching Shahadat Hossain through the covers, late-cutting him past third man and even punishing Sunny when he dropped short.
Even after Simmons succumbed, falling to a miscued slog-sweep against Shakib, Bravo got into the act with a couple of meaty sixes over the bowler’s head. The visitors batted with much more ease the second time round but forcing a win was too big an ask – Kirk Edwards was far more cautious at the other end – and the captains called off the game with 15 overs remaining.