Kyle Mayers and Rahkeem Cornwall star in Windies Test series victory

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Kyle Mayers and Rahkeem Cornwall were responsible for the Windies test series victory over Bangladesh.
West Indies' Kyle Mayers (L) celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) next to teammate Nkrumah Bonner during the fifth day of the first cricket Test match between Bangladesh and West Indies at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on February 7, 2021. (Photo by Munir Uz zaman / AFP) (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

West Indies triumph 2-0 in Bangladesh Test matches

Both the board and the nation would have bitten your hand off, had you offered them a Windies test series victory at the start of the series – never mind a clean sweep.

First there was Kyle Mayers’ double century in the opening test match against Bangladesh. This took the Windies to an unexpected victory at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram.

The 28 year old Barbadian Test match debutant scored 210 runs off of 310 balls in a magnificent batting display. He is now only the sixth player to score a double century on Test debut.

(The five other double century Test debuts being Tip Foster for Australia in 1904, Lawrence Rowe for the West Indies in 1972, Brendon Kuruppu for Sri Lanka in 1987, Mathew Sinclair for New Zealand in 1999, and Jacques Rudolph for South Africa in 2003.) Mayers is, however, the first debutant to make a double century in the fourth innings.

A fluent drive towards mid-on sealed the deal for the West Indies and Kyle Mayers. This meant that that the team had achieved the highest-ever run- chase in Asia. And it gave the visitors a three-wicket victory.

A week to remember for West Indies Cricket

Remarkable, not only because the Windies have under-performed in Test cricket for years now, contributing to a marked drop in the formats popularity in the Caribbean, but also because, in the eyes of many, this was a team made-up of second-string players including the likes of Joshua Da Silva.

A host of West Indian players, including Shane Dowrich, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran, had made themselves unavailable for this Bangladesh tour.

So, winning the first Test had already proven their detractors wrong. But could this inexperienced West Indian team go even further than that? Could they go on to the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka, win the second Test and claim the series?

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Having managed to build a respectable score of 409 in their first innings, they bowled Bangladesh out for 296. But, the West Indian batting collapsed in their second innings – scoring only 119.

With Bangladesh chasing 231, it was up to the West Indian bowlers to take charge. And if the athletically built batsman Kyle Mayers was the hero of the first Test, then the stocky spin-bowler Rahkeem Cornwall was the hero of the second.

West Indies’ John Campbell (top) with teammates Rahkeem Cornwall (R) and Shayne Moseley celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh’s Liton Das (not pictured) during the fourth day of the second Test cricket match between West Indies and Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka in February 14, 2021. (Photo by Munir Uz zaman / AFP) (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 28 year old bowler took 4 wickets for the West Indians in the fourth innings. Overall, the Antiguan took 9 wickets in the Dhaka Test. Along with Jomel Warrican and captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Cornwall tore through the Bangladesh batting.

Things did get tense towards the end. With the West Indians only one wicket away from victory, the stubborn Mehidy Hasan began to score. He took the Bangladesh team to within 18 runs from victory.

But, the West Indians emerged victorious when Jomel Warrican found Mehidy Hasan’s outside edge. Rahkeem Cornwall took the catch at slip. The West Indies beat Bangladesh. The Windies were celebrating a historic test series victory. But most importantly, they took to coach Phil Simmons’ words and built on their good work in the first test.

This was the Windies first test series victory in Asia since 2012.

 

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West Indies Domestic Cricket to watch out for

Finally, on the domestic front of West Indian cricket, the first week of the Super50 Cup provided some excellent matches. This 47th edition of the white ball, 50-overs, tournament, is a downsized version this year due to the coronavirus.

Canada, the United States, Combined Campuses, and last year’s winners, West Indian Emerging Team are not participating in this year’s competition.

The six teams competing to get to the final are Windward Volcanoes, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Jamaica Scorpions, Guyana Jaguars, Leeward Hurricanes, and Barbados Pride. The final will take place at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Saturday, 27 February.

Radio commentary for Super50 Cup matches is available worldwide via the Windies Cricket YouTube channel.

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