Bangladesh earn deserved draw against Windies

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Led by Khaled Mashud's maiden Test hundred, Bangladesh draw the first Test against West Indies.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Gros Islet, St. Lucia:

Khaled Mashud completed his maiden Test hundred and led a rearguard action to earn Bangladesh a draw on the last day of their opening cricket Test against West Indies here. Mashud, who came to the crease when his side had subsided to 79 for six, batted doggedly to remain undefeated on 103 when Habibul Bashar had the privilege of becoming the first Bangladesh captain to declare in Test cricket with his side on 271 for nine in the second innings on the final day yesterday. Left with the highly improbable, if not impossible task of scoring 336 from 29 overs to win the Test, West Indies were 113 without loss in the second innings when they gave up the ghost with Chris Gayle undefeated on 66 that helped earn him the Man-of-the-Match award and Devon Smith not out on 40. This is only the third draw for Bangladesh since their ascension to Test cricket four years ago and it leaves the two-Test series tied 0-0. In 28 previous Tests, the visitors have earned just two rain-marred draws against Zimbabwe and lost 26 times. The second Test begins on Friday at Kingston. "It was a total team effort, whenever we needed someone to step up they did, and so I am very happy with the boys," Bashar told reporters. "We gain a lot of positives from this match, but every time we play there is always room to improve, and so we will take the positives from this match and try to improve on them in Jamaica." Mashud drove a flighted delivery from Chris Gayle through cover fielder Tino Best for four to reach his landmark and occupied the crease for 5-1/2 hours to smote 13 fours from 281 balls. The former Bangladesh captain added 57 for the eighth wicket with Mohammad Rafique either side of lunch to frustrate the West Indies, but it was his partnership of 74 for the ninth wicket with Tapash Baisya that broke the spirit of Brian Lara's side. Ramnaresh Sarwan, twirling his uncomplicated leg-spin, was the most successful West Indies bowler with a Test best four wickets for 37 runs from 20 overs. No other bowler could find the same level of penetration and West Indies were left to ponder where they went wrong. "The pitch in this match was very much in the favour of the batsmen and it was always going to be tough for us to get 20 wickets on that pitch," Lara said. "I know the guys bowled well, but playing four bowlers on such a pitch was really taking a chance. "Credit, however, must be given to the bowlers and the work they put into this match. Let's hope they can reap the benefits in Jamaica." Bangladesh had looked down and out when they continued from their overnight position of 94 for six, but the benign nature of the Beausejour Stadium pitch and inconsistent West Indies bowling helped Mashud and his teammate to wear down their opponents. (PTI)

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