West Indies v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, St. Lucia, 4th day Benn’s five blanks Bangladesh

Sulieman Benn snuffed out Bangladesh’s resistance with his sixth five-for to ensure West Indies won their 500th Test emphatically and complete a 2-0 series whitewash on September 16, 2014 at Gros Islet stadium inSt. Lucia.

Denesh Ramdin poses after his first series win as captain © WICB Media Photo/Randy Brooks

Denesh Ramdin poses after his first series win as captain
© WICB Media Photo/Randy Brooks

The visitors conceded their last eight wickets for 34 runs, emblematic of their fortunes in 2014, to reduce fighting half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque into footnotes.

Benn posed a constant threat, with his turn and uneven bounce. With only the lunch and tea breaks to refresh himself, the left-arm spinner bowled unchanged from the 10th to the 50th overs. His perseverance was rewarded when Tamim was lured by the swathes of space on the leg side and top-edged a slog sweep into Shannon Gabriel’s waiting hands. This was 3.42 pm and by the next 23 minutes, Bangladesh’s middle-order was ripped apart.

Mahmudullah fell in the next over, the 60th, trapped lbw by an indipper from Gabriel. The batsman’s review only confirmed the fact that the ball would have hit leg stump. Mominul struck the first ball of the next over, a full-toss from Benn, down midwicket’s throat. And when Nasir Hossain fell for 2, the collapse had reached its crescendo and ultimately turned the day into an anti-climax. Bangladesh had been 158 for 2 and lost four wickets for nine runs.

Tamim and Mominul, who had strung 110 runs together in 47.1 overs, witnessed the procession forlornly from the dressing room. They had come together at 48 for 2 with lunch only a few minutes away. They got through that tricky period and progressed cautiously to tea, making it the second session of the tour that Bangladesh hadn’t lost a wicket.

Neither batsman was perturbed by playing for time, as evidenced by 21 overs without a boundary. Tamim’s 181-ball 64 was his fourth-longest innings in terms of balls faced and his boundary count – two fours and a six – was the lowest when he had played over 100 balls.

Mominul was dropped at first slip by Darren Bravo on 29. He reached his fifty, his slowest, off 125 balls. Strokeplay was not completely shelved though as Tamim slogged Benn to the midwicket boundary twice in the 28th over. Mominul hit straighter when the left-arm spinner overpitched, confirming a plan to only attack when they were sure of a bad ball.

A passing drizzle forced an early tea and both batsmen continued diligently on with Tamim reaching his slowest fifty, off 146 balls. He followed it up with a drive that tore through the covers as Bangladesh recorded only their second hundred partnership of the series. It was also the second century stand between Tamim and Mominul, the first also coming in a rearguard action against New Zealand in October last year. Two overs later, Tamim threw it away and so would Mominul.

The tail couldn’t muster much challenge. Taijul Islam was sent in at No. 8 once again, possibly for being a left-handed batsman and became Benn’s fifth wicket. It was a strange promotion considering Shafiul Islam had displayed better skills in the first innings.

Jerome Taylor became the 20th West Indian to 100 Test wickets by bowling Mushfiqur Rahim, for a second time in the match, and Robiul Islam’. The innings ended when Shafiul’s stumps were splayed in the 78th over by Kemar Roach.

As dire as the collapse was, Bangladesh’s troubles began in the first session after Denesh Ramdin’s declaration imposed a target of 489 in a possible 169 overs.

Shamsur Rahman’s response to that was to go after the bowling. He launched into Taylor’s short ball barrage, taking 16 runs off the seventh over. However, the only fielder Ramdin pushed back was Kirk Edwards to deep square-leg, who had to wait for four balls in Taylor’s next over before Shamsur’s out-of-control hook landed in his lap. A 27-ball 39 at the top of the scorecard would stick out as a sore thumb when the situation of the match is considered.

Ramdin swapped Taylor out with Benn and gained immediate reward. Anamul Haque followed one that turned and bounced to nick off for a duck.

Bangladesh managed a promising resistance, but West Indies were able to ride it out thanks to the advantage they had gained from Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 30th Test hundred. After he tucked his 134th delivery round the corner to go past Sir Don Bradman’s 29 centuries, he also became only the second batsman to remain undefeated throughout a Test series (minimum of three innings) and scored 200-plus runs. He has made 269 runs with two fifties and the century. Jacques Kallis was the first to do so, against Zimbabwe in 2001.