Thursday 21 February, 2019

WI, Bangladesh gear up for Sabina Park Test which starts Thursday

Jamaica Cricket Association’s (JCA) chief executive officer Courtney Francis has given the assurance that the Sabina Park’s pitch and outfield will be in top condition for Thursday’s second and final Test match between West Indies and Bangladesh.

West Indies, which ended 1-1 with Sri Lanka in their recent three-Test series, have a one-nil lead against Bangladesh after sweeping to an innings and 219-run victory in the opening match in Antigua last week.

The Windies, ranked ninth in the ICC Test team rankings — a place below Bangladesh, can leapfrog their Asian opponents if they can secure a series win.

“The preparation has been excellent, and we are confident that we have done all that we can under the circumstances,” Francis said.

“There are some standards set out and we have met all the standards. We met with the [Cricket] West Indies representatives this morning and they were impressed with where we are,” he said while insisting that all operational personnel are aware of their roles.

Francis said proper security measures will be in place and urged West Indies cricket supporters to throw their weight behind their team.

“We want people to come out and lend some support, seeing that West Indies are showing some consistency and winning some matches."

Meanwhile, Alzarri Joseph has been called into West Indies' 13-man squad for the, while Kemar Roach is absent because of a hamstring strain.

The Windies bowled Bangladesh out for 43 - their lowest Test total - in the first innings en route to a commanding victory in the first Test in Antigua last week, Roach taking 5-8 to skittle the tourists.

He did not bowl in the second innings as the Windies clinched the win by an innings and 219 runs.

Joseph has six Test caps to his name, taking 15 wickets at an average of 38.86. He took 4-53 for a West Indies Cricket Board XI against Bangladesh before the start of the series.

After a batting disaster in Antigua where only Nurul Hasan got out of the game with any semblance of respect after his counter-attacking 64 off 74 balls. And it is likely Bangladesh will play an eighth batsman after a particularly heavy defeat.

It would mean they would go into the game with one fewer bowler, which would further burden Shakib Al Hasan's all-round duties. 

The onus is on the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah to bail them out. But it won't be an easy task against an in-form West Indies side.

West Indies squad: Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (captain) Alzarri Joseph, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Devon Smith.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Liton Das, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Nurul Hasan, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Abu Jayed, 11 Kamrul Islam Rabbi

The match bowls off at 10:00 am.


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