Although pleased with his career-high Test knock of 92 against Bangladesh at the close of play on day two of the second Test in Dhaka, on Friday, West Indies (WI) wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva was disappointed he could not reach triple figures.
The 22-year-old topscored for the visitors in his first innings knock which saw WI dismissed for 409. Da Silva faced 187 balls and smashed ten fours in 268 minutes at the crease. At stumps, Bangladesh were 105 for four in 20 overs after two early strikes from pacer Shannon Gabriel.
Da Silva's knock places the maroon in a good position in the decisive Test. WI lead the two-Test series 1-0. This was also the Trinidadian's second half-century of his young career.
His quest for a maiden century was ended by spinner Taijul Islam who bowled him out eight short of the landmark.
Da Silva said he shed a tear walking back to the pavilion.
“I’m very happy with the results. I got a half-century but it’s not good enough, as I was eight runs short. I was gutted. I probably shed a little tear or two while walking off because I wanted to get there so badly. Hopefully there’s more opportunities and I get it the next time,” he said.
After his dominant knock, Da Silva anticipated a call from his parents who, according to him, would be so proud of his commanding display at the crease.
The ongoing Test match is just his third after making his debut against New Zealand last year. He was part of the touring squad to England last year and played the two practice matches. He even kept wicket during the Test in Manchester after Shane Dowrich got injured.
The Queen’s Park Cricket Club player played integral roles in building partnerships with Nkrumah Bonner (90) and compatriot Alzarri Joseph (82) which aided the Windies posting a good first innings total.
Prior to the second Test, WI coach Phil Simmons stressed on the importance of partnerships, especially among top-order batsmen. Da Silva and his teammates delivered on this request, this time, and hopes their batting performances are being noted by WI selectors.
“Test cricket is always and all about batting time. Once you’re at the wicket, runs will come. It gets easier as it comes by. You have those tough situations that you have to get through. But I’ve learnt to just grind, grind through them and get those easy ones and when the tough times come, just face it with a full face (of the bat),” he said.
On his recent exploits as the squad’s wicketkeeper in Bangladesh, he added, “It’s been good, a bit tough but a good challenge. The pitches are a lot lower so the fingers get a little damaged as compared to home or elsewhere. It (the ball) hasn’t spun as much as I thought it would but hopefully it spins a bit more for our sake.”
Prior to the regional team’s selection, in December 2020, several veteran and key players opted out of the tour owing to covid19-related concerns or personal fears.
The likes of seasoned Test captain Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich, Roston Chase, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran all declined to tour while Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich were unavailable due to personal reasons.
Several of the absent players, however, did take part in the last year’s tours of England and New Zealand. They were mandated to spend an average of seven days in quarantine, upon arrival, and then train and compete in a bio-secure bubble.
Due to their personal omission, critics believed the touring team would roll over easily.
Although they did lose the three-match ODI series 0-3, the Test team, led by interim captain Kraigg Brathwaite, won the first Test and seem on course for a possible series victory.
Da Silva believes the new-look squad has the talent and belief to defy naysayers and secure a much-needed triumph for the WI.
“None of these guys are second-string players. We all know we can play Test cricket and we’re showing that.
"It’s just about carrying on with the form we’ve been in and then just continuing on these next three days and hopefully we get the victory to make it 2-0,” he said to commentator and compatriot Ian Bishop.
Bangaldesh vs Windies
West Indies 1st Innings
(overnight 223 for five)
K Brathwaite c Najmul Hossain Shanto b Soumya Sarkar 47
J Campbell lbw b Taijul Islam 36
S Moseley b Abu Jayed 7
N Bonner c Mohammad Mithun b Mehidy Hasan Miraz*90
K Mayers c Soumya Sarkar b Abu Jayed*5
J Blackwood c & b Taijul Islam*28
J Da Silva b Taijul Islam*92
R Cornwall not out*4
J Warrican c Liton Das b Abu Jayed*2
S Gabriel c Mushfiqur Rahim b Taijul Islam*8
EXTRAS: (b4, lb2, nb2)*8
TOTAL: (all out, 142.2 overs)*409
Fall of wickets: 66; 87; 104; 116; 178; 266; 384; 396; 398; 409.
BOWLING: Abu Jayed 28-6-98-4, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 33-9-75-1, Nayeem Hasan 24-3-74-0, Taijul Islam 46.2-8-108-4 (nb2), Soumya Sarjar 11-1-48-1.
Bangladesh 1st innings
Tamim Iqbal c Moseley b Joseph*44
Soumya Sarkar c Mayers b Gabriel*0
Najmul Hossain c Bonner b Gabriel*4
Mominul Haque c Da Silva b Cornwall*21
Mushfiqur Rahim not out*27
Mohammad Mithun not*6
TOTAL: (4 wkts, 36 overs)*105
To bat: Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed.
Fall of wickets: 1; 11; 69; 71.
Bowling: Gabriel 8-2-31-2 (nb2), Cornwall 11-4-18-1, Joseph 8-1-34-1, Mayers 5-1-12-0, Warrican 4-1-10-0 (1)
Position: Bangladesh trail by 304 run with six first inning wickets intact.