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Benn, Bravo-inspired West Indies tighten grip

Kinggstown: Sulieman Benn claimed five wickets and Darren Bravo snared five catches as the West Indies routed Bangladesh for just 182 to take a 302-run first innings lead at stumps on the third day at Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent on Sunday.

Darren Bravo
Darren Bravo 

After the home side declared their first innings at 484 for seven 80 minutes into the day's play, only topscorer Mominul Haque (51) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (48 not out) offered any substantial resistance as first the fast bowlers and then Benn, with the unexpected support of Jermaine Blackwood (2 for 14), swept through the tourists' batting order.

Benn finished with five for 39, sealing the "fiver" by having last man Al-Amin Hossain taken by the safe hands of Bravo, who became just the second West Indian fielder after Darren Sammy (against India in Mumbai in 2013) to take five catches in a Test innings. The dismissal just before the close of play means the West Indies will be left to ponder overnight on whether they should enforce the follow-on or bat a second time.

After losing their first two wickets cheaply to Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor in the hour they faced to the lunch interval, Mominul and Shamsur Rahman (35) revived the Bangladeshi effort in the afternoon session with a 68-run third-wicket partnership. But Shamsur fell to Benn and Mominul departed for 51 to the last ball before tea, caught behind down the leg-side off Shannon Gabriel.

Mushfiqur was the only one left to offer any futher resistance but he was helpless as the wickets tumbled at the other end, Blackwood joining in the harvest with the part-time off-spinners. Needing to accelerate the scoring considerably following pedestrian progress on the rain-affected second day, the West Indies batsmen displayed greater adventure in the morning.

That proved beneficial for Taijul Islam, the debutant left-arm spinner reaping significant rewards for his perseverance, taking three of the four wickets to fall to finish with five for 135 off 47 overs. He began by removing obdurate opener Kraigg Brathwaite to a top-edged sweep to short fine-leg, the 21-year-old's marathon innings of 212 coming to an end after 554 minutes at the crease.

Ramdin came to the crease with the clear intent of pushing the score along, however a miscued heave resulted in a well-judged catch by Rubel Hossain at midwicket while Taylor swung a full-toss to Shuvagata Hom at long-on to give Taijul his fifth wicket.

Rubel had earlier claimed his first wicket of the innings, the fast-medium bowler trapping Blackwood leg-before as he also attempted to pick up the pace following the separation of the fourth-wicket pair of Brathwaite and Chanderpaul, whose combined effort had realised 161 runs. When the declaration came, Chanderpaul was left on 85, 15 runs short of a 30th Test century, probably causing him to regret his painfully slow progress on the second afternoon.

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