Shivnarine Chanderpaul said he welcomed his second Test double hundred. The veteran West Indies left-handed batsman gathered an undefeated 203 to lead West Indies to 527 for four declared in their first innings in the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium yesterday.
With his team resuming the day on 361 for four, the veteran left-hander stretched his overnight 123 and was joined in the run feast by Denesh Ramdin, who was 126 not out at the time of the declaration, 20 minutes before the scheduled tea interval.
Chanderpaul occupied the crease for a shade over seven and a half hours, facing 372 balls and counting 22 fours. The right-handed Ramdin, the more aggressive, hit 11 fours and a six in an innings spanning five and a half hours and consuming 236 deliveries.
livened up proceedings
Together, they put on 296 for the fifth wicket - a series record against Bangladesh - which was just outside of the overall record of 322 set by Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams against Australia 13 years ago.
Exciting opener Tamim Iqbal then livened up proceedings with a better than run-a-ball 72 as Bangladesh made a daring reply to finish the day on 164 for three, still 363 runs in arrears but, importantly, 164 runs shy of the follow-on total.
Shahriar Nafees chipped in with a cameo 31, while Naeem Islam steadied the innings late in the day with a calm, unbeaten 27.
Pacer Ravi Rampaul has so far claimed two for 49.
Chanderpaul's 203 equalled the same score he made against South Africa seven years ago on home soil at Bourda Oval in Guyana for his highest score in Tests.
The 38-year-old reached his landmark when he turned a delivery from Sohag Gazi into mid-wicket for a deuce. He is now level with the peerless Garfield Sobers on the list of century-makers in Tests from West Indies with 26.
"Sir Garry is Sir Garry," he said. "Being level on centuries with Sir Garry is good, but I cannot be Sir Garry.
"I have played a lot more games than Sir Garry, but it's still a great honour to be mentioned in the same sentence with Sir Garry."
He added: "In my career, I have not scored too many Test double hundreds, so it was truly satisfying to get past that landmark.
"The team comes first (so I am not concerned about passing my highest Test score). No matter what is the individual's score. Whatever is the team plan, we have to stick to it. I was just happy to get past 200."
Chanderpaul said his desire for runs and the love of the game were God-given talents which he has worked hard to cultivate over the years.
"It is something that I have tried very hard over the years to do," he said. "I've tried hard to improve and tried hard to get better at everything I do. I'm happy that I am still able to score hundreds and batting well at this stage.
"Where I bat could be one of the reasons why I have not scored many more double hundreds. But I had many opportunities to get big scores and I didn't. It's unfortunate, but it's how the game is played at times, so I was thankful that I was able to cross the double-hundred mark this time."
Chanderpaul showered Kieran Powell with praise for his second Test hundred and felt the rookie opener was an example of the talent which West Indies will have to offer in the future.
"Powell played a fantastic innings," he said. "Unfortunately, he got out when he did. I had a quiet chat with him about the way he got out.
"I've seen him score two Test hundreds already and I do not see anybody getting him out. He's the one giving his wicket away. This is something about which I have spoken to him. I feel West Indies cricket looks very bright for the future. We have some really good, young players."
WEST INDIES 1st innings
|C Gayle c Mahmudullah b Sohag Gazi||24|
|K Powell b Sohag Gazi||117|
|D Bravo c Rubel Hossain b|
|M Samuels c Sohag Gazi b Shahadat Hossain||16|
|S Chanderpaul not out||203|
|+D Ramdin not out||126|
|Extras (b4, lb13, w2, nb8)||27|
|TOTAL (4 wkts dec; 144 overs)||527|
Did not bat: D Sammy, V Permaul, S Narine, T Best, R Rampaul.
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Gayle), 2-74 (Bravo), 3-106 (Samuels), 4-231 (Powell).
Bowling: Sohag Gazi 47-7-145-3, Shahadat Hossain 21-3-85-1 (nb7), Rubel Hossain 18-0-89-0 (w1, n1), Mahmudullah 14-0-45-0, Shakib Al Hasan 34-4-104-0, Naeem Islam 8-1-24-0, Nasir Hossain 1-0-8-0, Tamim Iqbal 1-0-10-0 (w1).
BANGLADESH 1st innings
|Tamim Iqbal c Narine b Sammy||72|
|Junaid Siddique c Bravo b Rampaul||7|
|Shahriar Nafees c wkp Ramdin b Rampaul||31|
|Naeem Islam not out||27|
|Shakib Al Hasan not out||16|
|Extras (b4, lb4, w1, nb2)||11|
|TOTAL (3 wkts; 36 overs)||164|
To bat: +Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sohag Gazi, Shahadat Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain.
Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Junaid Siddique), 2-88 (Shahriar Nafees), 3-119 (Tamim Iqbal).
Bowling: Rampaul 8-0-49-2 (nb1), Best 7-1-31-0 (w1), Sammy 5-0-21-1, Narine 10-3-40-0 (nb1), Permaul 3-2-1-0, Gayle 3-0-14-0.
Position: Bangladesh trail West Indies by 363 runs with seven wickets intact.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: R Illingworth, B Oxenford;
TV: Enamul Haque.