Tigers Eye Clinching Test Series
Thursday, 16 July 2009

Bangladesh will looking to clinch the two-Test series against West Indies with Shakib Al Hasan likely to lead the visitors in the final Test starting at the National Stadium in Grenada on Friday.

After a historic 95-run first Test win, a draw will be good enough for the Tigers to seal the two-Test series as well as to ensure a first-ever away series after their lone Test series triumph against Zimbabwe four and a half years ago at home in 2005.

The tourists are confident of another positive result against a makeshift West Indies squad, which was given another chance to prove themselves by the West Indies Cricket Board following the top players' boycott over contract and payment issues.

Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is still uncertain as he has been nursing a knee injury and has not participated in training since getting injured while bowling in the first Test in St. Vincent.

Vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan feels the momentum is with the tourists as they look to secure a unique away series win.

"The boys are all keyed up. We know that our job is not finished. It was a great win the first Test. The effort was fantastic. We were happy and we made a lot of people happy but now we have to ensure that we play well here and win the series. The best part is that we all know that it is possible," Shakib was quoted as saying by tigercricket.com, the official website of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The Tigers trained at the National Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday they have a top-up session scheduled in the morning. Wednesday's practice was interrupted by rain on a few occasions and weather continues to be unpredictable in the Caribbean.

"It was a touch wet when we saw it on Wednesday. A bit of moisture maybe on top. It will be interesting to see how it eventually looks. We don't have a problem with the wicket. If it is slow, which I have heard it traditionally is, then that's okay and if it is quicker than Arnos Vale then I believe our bowling, especially spin, will be more effective," said Shakib who had to skipper the side since day three of the first Test after Mashrafe hobbled off the field with a knee injury.

Pacers Mahbubul Alam and Nazmul Hossain are there to step in if Mortaza fails to make it. Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr is another serious consideration given the obvious discomfort of the West Indies batsmen against spin which accounted for 15 of their wickets in the first Test.

"The West Indies batsmen had ample time to go on the back foot and play out the spinners in St. Vincent because it was very, very slow. Hopefully it will be faster here and that'd suit us fine," said Shakib.

The home side have drafted in experienced campaigner Ryan Hinds to bolster their batting after releasing 16-year-old prodigy Kraigg Brathwaite and Andre Creary from the first Test squad to play domestic cricket.

On the verge of the final Test, West Indies vice-captain Darren Sammy, the West Indies said that the home side were looking for inspiration from their performance in the morning session on the last day of the first Test.

"This coming match it will be very important that we repeat the performance of the final morning when we took five wickets in an hour," Sammy was quoted by cricinfo. He said, "We had many positives from the first match and we are really looking forward to levelling the series when we play on Friday."

TEN Sports will televise the Test live. The match is scheduled to start at 9:00pm Bangladesh Standard Time.

Bangladesh squad: Masrafe Bin Mortaza (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Roqibul Hassan, Shakib Al Hasan (Vice Captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Mahmud Ullah, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain Enamul Haque Jr., Mahbubul Alam, Nazmul Hossain, Mehrab Hossain Jr, Sahagir Hossain

West Indies squad: Floyd Reifer (Captain), Omar Phillips, Dale Richards, Ryan Hinds, Travis Dowlin, Chadwick Walton (Wicketkeeper), Darren Sammy (Vice Captain), Kemar Roach, Ryan Austin, Tino Best, Kevin McClean, Nelon Pascal, Nikita Miller, David Bernard.

Source: bdnews24.com

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