Any lingering hopes that Bangladesh had of squaring the two-match series against the West Indies evaporated on the third morning as Marlon Samuels cut loose after an edgy start and plundered 82 off 81 deliveries. At the other end, Darren Bravo had brought up his fourth Test century, while Shivnarine Chanderpaul would complete his 27th in the final session as the tourists' lead stretched to 177.
Bangladesh’s morning had started promisingly enough as Darren Bravo edged the second delivery of the day just short of the lone slip. Samuels was then dropped shortly afterwards and looked unusually unsure of himself for a man who already had over 100 runs to his name.
However, it wasn’t to last as Samuels made the most of his good fortune and laid into anything remotely loose. He made the most of the slow pitch and pulled length balls from the spinners over square-leg. He did have one further piece of luck when he edged a ball onto his pad and saw it roll onto leg-stump but not dislodge the bails. A close shout first ball after lunch was turned down by the umpire but, after some troubles against Rubel Hossain’s bouncer, he reached his maiden Test double hundred.
Samuels would go on to make 260 before falling in the final session of the day and broke numerous records along the way. Most notable among them was the 455 balls that he faced - the most by any batsman against Bangladesh.
If Samuels had his share of luck, then Chanderpaul at the other end needed none. He was a lot more consistent than Samuels in his pace of scoring - Samuels’ first session blitz had been followed by an afternoon session during which he added just 29 - and cruised to his second Test century in as many innings.
Chanderpaul’s hundred came off only 187 balls and he ended the day on 109 not out to match Samuels’ close of play score yesterday.
Darren Bravo’s hundred had been completed in the first session of the day, playing second fiddle to Samuels onslaught, off 221 balls, before he was trapped in front by Sohag Gazi to give Bangladesh the first of what would turn out to be just two wickets for them today.
At the close of play yesterday, West Indies captain Darren Sammy had spoken of his desire to extend his side’s lead to in excess of 250, so it is likely that Chanderpaul will have a chance to complete his very own double-hundred tomorrow. If he does so, more records will tumble.
© Cricket World 2012
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