Bangladesh eyes rare Test series win

A win in Dhaka will give Bangladesh only its fourth Test series win in history and first since 2014 when it triumphed over Zimbabwe 3-0 at home.

Bangladeshi cricketers celebrate their win at the end of the third day of the first Test against West Indies. Bangladesh came close to winning series twice in the past two years, respectively against Australia and Sri Lanka but on both occasions it stumbled at the final hurdle.   -  AFP

Bangladesh will be looking for a rare Test series win when it takes on the West Indies in the second and final Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.

The home side leads the two-match series 1-0 thanks to its 64-run win the first Test in Chittagong when its spinners accounted for all 20 West Indies wickets.

A win in Dhaka will give Bangladesh only its fourth Test series win in history and first since 2014 when it triumphed over Zimbabwe 3-0 at home.

Bangladesh came close to winning series twice in the past two years, respectively against Australia and Sri Lanka but on both occasions it stumbled at the final hurdle.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan said his team has the ability to overcome the odds. “We have a challenge and we believe we can overcome this,” Shakib said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“Naturally, West Indies will also go into the match more excited. They will give their best to win. We have to perform better than them, more than what we did in Chittagong,” he said.

Read: Shakib Al Hasan promises better show after Windies win

“It will be very special for us if we can win the series 2-0...whatever it requires we are preparing to do that,” he said.

“If it is not possible to win, our target will be taking series 1-0, because the ultimate target is winning the series.”

Shakib promised positive cricket. “But we don't want to win series by playing defensive cricket. We will go into the match with a positive frame of mind,” he said.

Bangladesh's chances, however, got a blow when wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim hurt his finger during a training session on Wednesday.

Though Shakib did not rule out Mushfiqur playing the game, the home side had recalled Liton Das as a back-up option.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he remained optimistic despite the challenge ahead. “Staying positive on this type of wicket is key. The bounce varied a lot in the first Test,” said Brathwaite.

“The onus is on ourselves to trust our defence and attacking methods. I think the key is to be light in your feet, and treat each ball as it comes.”

The visitor will miss pace bowler Shannon Gabriel, who was banned from the second Test after being handed two demerit points in the first.

Brathwaite said he was “backing both spin and pace to do a good job” unsettling Bangladesh.

“There will obviously be a balance. Spin did most of the damage in the first Test but it doesn't mean pacers can't take wickets,” he said.