West Indies opener Chris Gayle hit an unbeaten 110 as the home team remained locked in a battle with Bangladesh.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
St Lucia:West Indies opener Chris Gayle hit an unbeaten 110 as the home team remained locked in a battle with Bangladesh on the third day of the opening Test at Beausejour Stadium. The home team closed on 262 for five on Sunday in reply to Bangladesh's record first innings total of 416. Gayle survived three dropped chances, one of six floored by the visitors, on the way to his fifth Test century in his 43rd match. The 24-year-old counted 14 fours off 246 balls in six hours. Ramnaresh Sarwan (40), Brian Lara (53) and Dwayne Smith (42) all chipped in as they shared useful partnerships with Gayle in the middle order. Pedro Collins finished off the Bangladesh innings inside 15 minutes as they resumed on 406 for nine. The left-armer bowled Rafique off the inside edge to finish with four for 83. Disastrous start The West Indies reply got off to a disastrous start when Devon Smith was run out after a mix-up with Gayle in the second over at two for one. Smith, returning to the team after missing the final two Tests against England with injury, was dismissed without scoring. The left-hander was sent back too late on Gayle's push to backward point and Foysal Hossain and bowler Tareq Aziz completed the dismissal. The 20-year-old Tareq, on debut, should have reaped further reward for the visitors in his new ball burst. But two dropped catches took the gilt off Bangladesh's performance in the morning session. Gayle, on 24 and 28, was the lucky batsman on both occasions. Hannan Sarkar failed to get a finger on a catchable edge at second slip. Next over, Rajin Saleh spilled a sliced drive at gully. Spilled chances Both fielders were guilty again in the afternoon session. Sarwan was 31 when Saleh grassed his pull at midwicket off Tapash Baisya. But Baisya eventually gained his revenge when Sarwan miscued a hook to deep square leg where Rafique finally held one for the tourists. The second wicket stand between Gayle and Sarwan was worth 87 in just under two hours. Sarwan hit a six and four fours off 76 deliveries. Gayle should have been taken again when 47 as Ashraful put down a low chance at midwicket off Baisya's full toss. Soon after, Lara was let off at 35 when Sarkar at gully parried a sliced drive at Mushfiqur Rahman. Gayle and Lara eventually added 73 for the third wicket before a nick to the wicketkeeper gained Rahman the prized wicket of Lara, who hit six fours in a crisp 53 off 76 balls. Bangladesh should have got Chanderpaul just before the tea break but Javed Omar put down another midwicket offering as the batsman pulled against Rafique's left-arm spin. That miss was not to prove costly as wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud held his second catch as Chanderpaul got a thin edge probing at Rafique. He and Dwayne Smith boosted the West Indies with a fifth wicket stand of 70 that lifted the total from 183 for four. Smith hit five fours off 69 balls before he fell just as he closed in on a half century. The 21-year-old lofted Rafique to long-on where Tareq Aziz claimed a comfortable catch. Wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs survived to the close, which came half hour early because of bad light. (AP)