Debutant Sunny lights up Bangladesh’s day


The pitch didn’t appear to have been affected much by the rain. There was limited movement but some extra bounce for the seamers; the spinners, however, got more assistance from the track than on the first day and the sharp turn was exploited by Sunny and Devendra Bishoo. The Bangladesh batsmen didn’t help their cause with some rash strokes while their counterparts were quite scratchy, struggling against the turn and bite. The hosts kept chipping away, even dislodging Shivnarine Chanderpaul just short of a pressure-relieving, fluent half-century, in a contest they’d had the better of.

Sunny would have felt like a victim of some malicious conspiracy when he had two catches dropped off his bowling inside his first three overs. He is slower than his team-mate Shakib Al Hasan and gives the ball a lot more air, and was threatening when he came round the wicket, angling the ball in and getting it to spit away from a good length. He finally had his man, an unconvincing Kirk Edwards, who missed a sweep and was trapped in front, sparking wild celebrations from the debutant.

Sunny, Shakib and Nasir Hossan, the other debutant spinner, were impressive bowling with close-in catchers. They often surprised the batsmen with the extra bounce, either catching the glove or a leading edge, and were unfortunate that neither short leg, silly point nor backward short leg were able to get their hands around those half-chances. But they continued creating opportunities and Sunny stood out. He saw off Darren Bravo, who stabbed at a delivery that landed in the rough to be caught at short leg.

Chanderpaul, seeking to revive West Indies from 52 for 3, put on his more attacking side. A master of unsettling the bowling, whether defending or attacking, he infused life and urgency. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite blocked one end, nervy on occasion – Rubel Hossain bowled him off a no-ball – but mostly solid, while Chanderpaul eased the pressure at the other. He thrashed his first ball, off Sunny, over square leg, picked the gaps for twos and threes and stepped out to Sunny twice in an over to launch him over the long-on boundary.

The pair added 62 for the fourth wicket before Brathwaite poked at a turner from Sunny to offer a bat-pad catch. The innings was rebuilding again with the experienced Samuels at the crease but he lost Chanderpaul, given out caught at slip though replays couldn’t conclusively show an inside edge. Sunny had had the last laugh.

The West Indies batting undermined their efforts in the morning session, when Bishoo and Fidel Edwards shared five wickets to peg back the hosts. Despite those wickets, however, West Indies, as on the first day, offered a healthy dose of short-pitched deliveries that handed out some easy runs. The stand-out batsman in the morning was Nasir, who gave the crowd plenty to cheer about with his sprightly batting, which has already earned him two ODI half-centuries. He was especially ruthless against the bad balls, slashing and pulling the seamers and dispatching Bishoo for two fours in a cameo of 35. Joining him to walk away with praise at the end of the day was his fellow debutant.

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