By Ravendra Madholall
West Indies, with the familiarity of home venue, will no doubt be looking to blank Bangladesh 2-0 in the second and final test which is slated to get cracking from Friday in St. Lucia.
After suffering a humiliating seven-wicket defeat, the tourists have to put in a herculean task to prevent the prospect of another ignominious series loss.
West Indies will have a chance to increase their points too in the test Championship and with their first-match outstanding performance, they have got motivation to move forward confidently and optimistically.
Bangladesh have plenty to ponder now since their first-innings capitulation doesn’t resonate well for them after they would have folded for a mediocre 103 while the West Indians replied satisfactorily with 265.
The second innings though epitomized a stronger impression with some promising performances much to the gratification of the Bangladesh team as they made 245.
West Indies bowled delightfully in both innings and that should propel their confidence immensely for this intriguing showdown.
Their seamers did the trick on a lively Antigua and Barbuda pitch. Kemar Roach, their most experienced bowler, initiated the early collapse and then he (2-21 & 5-53) was splendidly supported by Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph with three wickets each. Less-known medium-pacer Kyle Mayers once again was in the thick of things as he accounted for two wickets.
It was a total disappointment for Bangladesh as the defeat occurred inside four days. They had West Indies on the ropes at 9-3 in pursuit of the modest 87 for victory, however. That should give them a great degree of enthusiasm and impetus to put up a better fight in this encounter.
West Indies must have praised opener and struggling batsman John Campbell for his responsible knock of 58 not out, a measurable innings after a series of failures, while Vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood helped formalized things with an unbeaten 26.
Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite was typically defiant in the first innings when he scored 94 but the support was encouraging as seasoned batsmen like Nkrumah Bonner and Blackwood getting 33 and 63 respectively.
For many West Indian Aficionados, Raymond Refier appeared at that pivotal number 3 position with little reputation as a batsman. With his failures (11&2) in both innings, they are expecting the batting might be modified.