Sarkar falls first ball to Collins again as Bangladesh struggle

Bangladesh 145-6 v West Indies
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The Independent Online

The second, and final, Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh made its customary start here yesterday.

The second, and final, Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh made its customary start here yesterday.

For the third time in the four Tests between the teams, Bangladesh opener Hannan Sarkar failed to survive the first ball of the match from the left-armer Pedro Collins.

As he did in the first Test in St Lucia last week, Sarkar raised his bat to a late inswinger and, as he did then, umpire Jeremy Lloyds once more made a straightforward lbw decision.

Bowled by a similar Collins delivery in the inaugural Test between the teams in Dhaka in December 2002, it was a unique triple as Sarkar joined the legendary Indian, Sunil Gavaskar, as the only batsmen to be out three times to the first ball of a Test.

Collins became the only bowler to achieve the feat as many times, going past India's Kapil Dev, New Zealand's Richard Hadlee and England's Geoff Arnold.

Bangladesh overcame the setback in St Lucia to amass their highest Test total, 416, but struggled to 73 for three by lunch on a pitch with a little more bounce and pace than they encoutered there.

Twice Collins reprieved the Bangladesh captain, Habibul Bashar, with no-balls before eventually removing the century-maker of the first Test.

Bashar cut his first ball for four and edged the second, a no-ball, to the wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs. He was 12 when he was caught at gully off another illegal delivery as the bowler overstepped but he did not take advantage of his luck.

He was 20 when he miscued a hook off a legal ball to gully off Collins. After an opening spell of eight overs, Collins was replaced by Fidel Edwards who soon beat opener Javed Omar for pace and bounce outside off-stump, Jacobs claiming his second catch from a thin edge.

Repeatedly in their four years in Test cricket, 54 for three would have triggered Bangladeshi panic and a middle order collapse but they have shown increasing tenacity in the past year under new coach Dave Whatmore, especially in the draw in the first Test.

In three-quarters of an hour to lunch, Rajin Saleh and Mohammed Ashraful, two highly promising young right-handers, kept the West indies at bay with purposeful defence, interspersed with the occasional attacking shot.

It is a crucial Test for Brian Lara who put his captaincy on the line with his announcement before the match that he would resign the post if his team did not win.

"If we don't win then I don't think I am going to lead the team to England," he said. "If we don't beat Bangladesh in five good days of cricket, we need another leader."

At his urging, the West Indies reduced their fast bowling staff, replacing Jermaine Lawson with off-spinner Omari Banks.

Bangladesh - first innings (tea)

Hannan Sarkar lbw b Collins 0

Javed Omar c Jacobs b Edwards 20

*Habibul Bashar c Banks b Collins 20

Rajin Saleh not out 16

Mohammad Ashraful c Sarwan b Banks 16

Manjural Islam Rana c Jacobs b Best 7

Mushfiqur Rahman st Jacobs b Banks 22

Extras (lb-5 w-2 nb-7) 14

Total (for 6, 55.4 overs) 145

To bat: Khaled Mashud, Mohammad Rafique, Tapash Baisya, Tareq Aziz.

Fall: 1-0 2-37 3-54 4-88 5-97 6-145

Bowling: Collins 12-1-36-2 (3nb), Edwards 12-3-35-1 (3nb 1w), Best 11-4-18-1 (1nb 1w), Banks 15.4-1-48-2, Sarwan 2-2-0-0, D.R.Smith 3-1-3-0. West Indies: C Gayle, D Smith, R Sarwan, *B Lara, S Chanderpaul, D Smith, ÝR Jacobs, O Banks, T Best, P Collins, F Edwards