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Cable & Wireless Test against Bangladesh -Sarwan’s unbeaten 106 off 186 balls

Sarwan’s unbeaten 106 off 186 balls was worth no less in value, and it was his fifth at this level and second against Bangladesh.

Reproduced compliments of The Nation News

Blazing bats - Sunday 06, June-2004

Sarwan’s unbeaten 106 off 186 balls was worth no less in value, and it was his fifth at this level and second against Bangladesh.

“I just wanted to be positive regardless of what the situation was, not only against Bangladesh, but against any other team,” Sarwan said.

“In the past I found that when I tend to feel around, I tend to get out playing too tentatively. It is something that I have been working on.”

Sarwan, who might have been a shade lucky to survive an lbw shout when he was four, was 43 when Lara joined him and the captain’s overwhelming dominance was emphsised by the fact the vice-captain was 86 when the skipper reached his century.

Their third wicket stand of 179, made at a rate of just under four runs an over, was filled with almost every stroke the book, a few extra-ordinary ones that won’t be found in any coaching manual and paved the way for a commanding position from which to press for a series-winning victory.

For the first time in ten days of cricket between the two teams, Bangaldesh were made to look like the team that came to the Caribbean with 26 defeats in 28 Tests.

For the entire duration of the West Indies response of 294 for three to their 284, they were punished consistently.

The ball sped away to the ropes 34 times and cleared the boundarythree times.

Between lunch and tea, 94 runs were added for the loss of Devon Smith, a run out victim for the second time in successive matches, but the tempo was spectacularly raised in the post-tea session when West Indies blazed away for 140 runs.

It was a huge disappointment to the5 000 noisy, horn-blowing, whistle-blowing, flag-waving spectators that the partnership between Lara and Sarwan ended short of the close with the dismissal of Lara from his only genuine rash stroke, an attempted cut from a wide delivery which he snicked from Mohammad Rafique into the gloves of the keeper.

Before the general and the colonel joined forces, Smith, one of the junior officers, started the guns blazing with a solid 44 that included some authentic cut strokes.

The little opening batsman seemed headed for something substantial before he was run out by Mohammad Ashraful’s direct throw from mid-on to the bowler’s end.

By then, butter-fingered Bangladesh, who floored six catches in the first Test, had already put down two chances and the third and most costly was to follow.

They didn’t pay much for Mushfiqur Rahman’s miss at second slip when Chris Gayle was on six. Gayle added only eight more before edging a heavy-footed drive to the keeper to provide a gleeful Tariq Aziz with his first Test wicket.

Smith was on 28 when Tariq dropped a sharp, diving chance at point, but Bangladesh paid dearly for Hannan Sarkar’s embarrassing grasp at second slip when Sarwan was 21.

Sarkar was one of the culprits in St Lucia as well, and he’ll be hoping that the West Indiesvice-captain captain falls early today.

Sarwan was immediately into his stride. Like Smith, he was strong on the cut, but his range also included some firm drives among his11 fours.

Lara, who struck 12 fours, advertised what was to come when he took two steps down the track and hoisted Manjural Islam’s left-arm spin over his head for the first of his three sixes. Manjural was promptly removed from the attack.

Twenty minutes later, at the opposite end, the other left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique was lifted over long-on and into the George Headley Stand. He, too, was immediately pulled out.

As Lara moved towards his century when Manjural came back, there was a remarkable six in which the left-hander removed the bottom hand immediately after executing the shot.

It was like a one-arm bandit, and there was a few more of those in an innings that lasted just under three hours.

Compliments of the Nation News


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