Windies cruise

Darren Bravo cuts a delivery during his 127. The wicketkeeper is Musfiqur Rahim.

KHULNA -†Three West Indies batsmen celebrated on a batting paradise in Khulna that offered nothing to the bowlers, and piled up a mammoth 564 for 4 on the third day of the second Test against Bangladesh.

At the end of the day’s play West Indies led by 177, thanks to an unbeaten 109 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a brilliant 127 from Darren Bravo and an epic 260 by Marlon Samuels.

Samuels and Bravo continued from where they had left yesterday. The latter soon completed his century – an innings of patience and resolve and the pair raised the double-century partnership. They took on the debutant pacer Abul Hasan and hit him for a flurry of boundaries. Samuels also hit the spinners with ease and cleared the ropes on a few occasions.

The two kept racking up the runs and soon brought up the triple-century stand for the 3rd wicket – an epic stand which broke a number of records. Their 326-run stand was the sixth-highest partnership for West Indies in Tests and the highest in away games. It was also the fourth-highest stand against Bangladesh. Darren Bravo finally departed for 127 when he was leg before wicket to Sohag Gazi – the first breakthrough for the hosts. It was Bravo’s fourth Test century, all scored on the subcontinent. West Indies went into lunch at 369 for 3. Samuels was unbeaten on 191. Chanderpaul had joined him in the middle.

The talented right-hander completed a magnificent maiden double-hundred to become the 25th West Indian to reach that landmark. It was a wonderfully built innings – slow and steady at the start, accelerating after getting to his hundred. Chanderpaul came in with positive intent and looked to keep the tempo going. He soon reached yet another half century in Tests and the pair had soon put on a century stand for the 4th wicket. The partnership went from strength to strength and the Windies reached their 500 in the 156th over. The pair soon brought up the 150 run-stand.

Chanderpaul completed his 27th Test ton and Samuels soon brought up his 250. The pair had put up 177 for the fourth wicket, a partnership dominated by the southpaw who contributed 95, before Samuels’ monumental effort was finally ended by Rubel Hossain caught in the slips by substitute Elias Sunny for 260. Chanderpaul had first Test centurion Denesh Ramdin as his partner at the close on 4. Rubel Hossain and Gazi had picked up two wickets each for Bangladesh on a rather forgetful, frustrating and agonizing day for the home team.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said the plan was to bat until at least lunch, build a lead of 250-plus, and then seek to force a win.

As it is now, Bangladesh already appear to be out of the game.†

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