Kemar Roach reaches 250-wicket landmark as West Indies on verge of series sweep vs Bangladesh

by IANS |

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 27 (IANS) West Indies pace bowler Kemar Roach took his prized 250th Test wicket as he helped push the home team closer to victory and a series sweep on Day 3 of the second Test against Bangladesh at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium on Monday (IST).

Without a wicket in the first innings after entering the match on 249 wickets, the fast bowler handed himself an early birthday present by grabbing 3/32 as Bangladesh were left reeling on 132/6 at the close of a rain-affected third day. He now sits sixth on the all-time West Indies list on 252 wickets, seven behind Joel Garner.

Alzarri Joseph, who has been the fastest bowler on show this series, maintained his form with 2/31, which has left the visitors still requiring a further 42 runs in order to avoid another heavy defeat on the penultimate day.

Roach snatched the first three wickets to fall in Bangladesh's second innings, sending back Tamim Iqbal (4), Mahmudul Hasan Joy (10) and Anamul Haque (4) as Bangladesh slumped to 32/3 at tea -- taken 20 minutes early due to rain.

Bangladesh were in early trouble when Tamim drove at a wide one from Roach and nicked off to Da Silva at 4/1 in the third over. That was the celebratory moment for Roach as he raised the ball to the heavens and was surrounded by teammates to celebrate the milestone. Next up, Mahmudul Hasan Joy edged to Jermaine Blackwood at third slip and Anamul was plumb leg-before to a delivery which nipped back, as Roach had given West Indies the perfect start.

Jayden Seales trapped Litton Das lbw for 19 courtesy of DRS after the break before Najmul Hossain struck 42 in a 47-run, fifth-wicket stand with captain Skakib-al-Hasan (16), to prop up the innings. Najmul had faced 91 balls and struck eight fours when he edged a drive to Da Silva off Joseph, who then had Shakib caught on the second attempt by John Campbell at second slip, off the first ball following the final drinks break.

"It's a good feeling. Obviously, I've worked hard over the years to get to this point. I still have some ways to go. I have some other goals to reach but right now I'm just living the moment, enjoying the moment. The team is doing well as well so I'm extremely proud of the day. I just want to continue to work hard tomorrow, obviously come back and help the team win again in another Test match," said Roach at the end of day's play.

Earlier in the day, left-hander Kyle Mayers struck 146 as West Indies, resuming the morning on 340/5, were dismissed for 408, about 45 minutes after lunch. He started the day on 126, and faced 208 balls in just over five hours and struck 18 fours and two sixes. This could prove to be a match-winning knock as it saved the West Indies from danger at 132/4 before lunch on the second day, and gave them a first innings lead of 174.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 234 and 132/6 in 36 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 42; Kemar Roach 3/32, Alzarri Joseph 2/31) vs West Indies 408 in 126.3 overs (Kyle Mayers 146; Khaled Ahmed 5/106, Mehidy Hasan Mira 3/91).

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