Bitter-sweet Bangladesh eye series victory over Windies

Bangladesh will carry bitter-sweet feelings into the second and final Test against the Windies starting from Friday at the Queen's Park Stadium Complex.

updated: July 16, 2009 17:45 IST
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St George's:

Bangladesh will carry bitter-sweet feelings into the second and final Test against the West Indies starting from Friday at the Queen's Park Stadium Complex.

Bangladesh need only to draw to fulfill a long-held dream of their first Test series victory after they took a 1-0 lead with a 95-run victory in the opening Test at St Vincent.

But celebrations have been tempered following a knee injury to their new captain Mashrafe Mortaza which appears likely to sideline him for the match.

Mortaza fell clumsily on his right knee when bowling during the first Test, and spent the last two and a half days off the field.

He underwent a medical scan on Tuesday, and though the results of the test are not as bad as initially feared, the visitors do not want to risk long-term injury to their main fast bowler.

The Tigers have flown out Nazmul Hossain as back-up for Mortaza, but the way things unfolded in the first Test, the captain may not be missed.

It was Bangladesh's spinners who made life difficult for the West Indies batsmen in the first Test, particularly the second innings, when Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan - who is likely to lead the side in Mortaza's place - dominated.

The Tigers will consider playing three spinners with Mehrab Hossain Jr the likely choice to fill the breach, particularly if the pitch looks favourable.

Winning the series will be very important to Bangladesh, after they arrived in the Caribbean as rank outsiders.

Fortune favoured them when the long-running feud between the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players' Association escalated just prior to the opening Test, and the leading West Indies players decided to boycott the series.

This meant Bangladesh's chances of a Test victory - and perhaps a Test series victory - were enhanced, once the hosts fielded a hodge-podge of players with limited Test and international experience.

Fortunately, they kept their nerve through a batting collapse in the first innings, and then a solid, if not formidable West Indies reply, and sealed the deal in over the second half of the match.

As the dispute between the West Indies board and leading players continues, the home team will again field a weakened line-up for the Test.

The batting has been boosted with the addition of Ryan Hinds, one of the leading batsmen in last season's first-class competition.

Hinds played the last of his 14 Tests against England in March this year at Trinidad's Queen's Park Oval, but he is yet to make a meaningful impression at the top level.

The left-hander managed just 91 runs in four Tests against England on their recent Caribbean tour and was dropped for the return trip in May.

He has become the third player who has represented the Caribbean side in recent months to ignore the West Indies Players' Association's stance, following similar decisions by Dave Bernard Jr and Darren Sammy.

Kraigg Brathwaite and Andre Creary, two Under-19 players who had been included in the squad for the first Test, have been released, and will return to Jamaica to take part in the West Indies youth championship.