CHITTAGONG: Kyle Mayers became the first batsman to score a fourth-innings double century on debut to help West Indies snatch an extraordinary three-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test on Sunday.
Hosts Bangladesh declared their second innings on 223-8, setting West Indies a daunting victory target of 395, and the touring side completed the fifth-highest successful run chase in Test history and also the biggest in Asia.
Mayers added 216 runs with Nkrumah Bonner (86) to turn the match on its head and took a single off spinner Nayeem Hasan to seal a fairytale victory for a second-string West Indies side led by Kraigg Brathwaite.
Mayers, a 28-year-old left-handed batsman from Barbados, remained unbeaten on 210, including 20 fours and seven sixes.
“I’m always positive and believed in my ability, and believed that we could get there. We never give up, and keep fighting,” Mayers said. “It’s a great feeling to be playing Test cricket, and then going on to score 100, 200 and then to win the match.”
West Indies sent a weakened squad to Bangladesh after several players, including test captain Jason Holder, opted out of the tour citing Covid-19 concerns.
At 59-3, West Indies looked in trouble but Brathwaite said he never lost belief.
“We knew it was an open game. We trusted our plans, and Bonner and Mayers showed that they can stick to the plans, and make it work,” he said.
Needing another 285 runs with seven wickets in hand, the West Indies began the crucial fifth day on the front foot, with Bonner pulling offspinner Mehidy Hasan over square leg for a boundary from the first ball.
Mayers and Bonners then survived several tricky moments in the first hour of the day, with off-spinner Hasan (4-113) and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (2-91) keeping the batsmen on their toes.
Taijul trapped Bonner leg-before in the first over after tea to end the highest fourth wicket partnership for West Indies in the fourth innings of a Test. They beat the record of Len Baichan and Clive Lloyd, who scored 164 against Pakistan at Lahore in 1975.
Jermaine Blackwood was stumped for nine by Nayeem as Bangladesh pressed for victory. But Mayers put on exactly 100 runs with Joshua Da Silva to take the visitors close to the target.
By the time Taijul bowled Da Silva, West Indies were only three runs from victory.
Bangladesh captain Mominul Haq admitted the hosts did not bowl well on a final day track.
“We didn’t create enough chances, and our bowlers didn’t bowl enough in the right areas,” Mominul said. “But all credit goes to Bonner and Mayers who batted really well.”
The second and final Test starts in Dhaka on Thursday.
BANGLADESH (1st innings) 430 (Mehidy 103, Shakib 68, Shadman 59; Warrican 4-133)
WEST INDIES (1st innings) 259 (Brathwaite 76, Blackwood 68; Mehidy 4-58)
BANGLADESH (2nd innings) 223-8 declared (Mominul 115, Liton 69; Warrican 3-57, Cornwall 3-81).
WEST INDIES (2nd innings; overnight 110-3):
K. Brathwaite c sub b Mehidy 20
J. Campbell lbw b Mehidy 23
S. Moseley lbw b Mehidy 12
N. Bonner lbw b Taijul 86
K. Mayers not out 210
J. Blackwood st Liton b Nayeem 9
J. Da Silva b Taijul 20
K. Roach c sub-b Mehidy 0
R. Cornwall not out 0
EXTRAS (B-11, LB-4) 15
TOTAL (for seven wkts; 127.3 overs) 395
DID NOT BAT: S. Gabriel, J. Warrican.
FALL OF WKTS: 1-39, 2-48, 3-59, 4-275, 5-292, 6-392, 7-394.
BOWLING: Mustafizur 13-1-71-0, Taijul 45-18-91-2, Mehidy 35-3-113-4, Nayeem 34.3-4-105-1.
RESULT: West Indies win by three wickets.
SERIES: West Indies lead 1-0.
UMPIRES: Richard Illingworth (England) and Sharfuddoula Saikat (Bangladesh).
TV UMPIRE: Gazi Sohel (Bangladesh).
MATCH REFEREE: Neeyamur Rashid Rahul (Bangladesh).