When Kemar Roach scores his run in the second Test against Bangladesh, which kicks off at Daren Sammy Stadium on Friday, he will do so knowing he is just one wicket away from joining a very select group of West Indian bowlers. The 33-year-old Barbadian rhythm bowler comes into the Test with 249 wickets to his name, as did a legend of the 1970s and 80s, Michael Holding. One more scalp and Roach will become the sixth West Indies bowler to join the ‘250 Club’, following Courtney Walsh (519 wickets), Curtly Ambrose (405), Malcolm Marshall (376), Lance Gibbs (309) and Joel Garner (259). ).
After returning match figures of seven for 74 to fire West Indies to a seven-wicket win in the first Test in Antigua, Roach admitted he was aiming for 300 Test wickets.
“I’m always one for the stats,” he told reporters after the game. “I love my stats. I always look at my stats. Every night. Even if I don’t play, I always look at my stats, so it’s good to be among the greats.
“It’s good to be up there with all the fantastic people in West Indies cricket.”
Roach and his teammates will take immense confidence from winning the first Test following a 1-0 home series victory over England in March.
Another victory would not only guarantee the series, but would put the West Indies above Pakistan in sixth place in the Test World Championship.
In Antigua, Roach had good support from Jayden Seales, who took three for 33 in the opening innings, and Alzarri Joseph who picked up three wickets in each inning.
Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite set the tone for the batsmen with 94 in the opening innings, although a slump of 224 for four to 265 all suggests there is also work to be done.
Bangladesh’s stick, on the other hand, was weak with the first order, especially Najmul Hossain and Mominul Haque, completely out of form.
Their first inning 103 in Antigua, which included six ducks, was the fifth time in 12 innings completed this year that they have been eliminated for less than 200.
Despite a more respectable 245 in the second set, it meant they were on the back foot the entire game.
Mominul had a particularly tough time: His scores of 0s and 4s made him the first top-five hitter since George Bonner, whose Test career ended in 1888, to score nine successive single-digit scores.
“If he thinks he needs a break, it can happen,” Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said after the first test.
With no obvious replacement in sight, he is likely to keep his place, although Anamul Haque could be recruited at Najmul’s expense.
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