'Greatest ever': Cricket world erupts over 'unbelievable' miracle

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Kyle Mayers, pictured here celebrating after bringing up his double century.
Kyle Mayers celebrates after bringing up his double century against Bangladesh. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyle Mayers is being lauded for one of the greatest knocks from a debutant in the history of Test cricket after helping West Indies chase down Bangladesh’s record target of 395.

Mayers became the first batsman to score a fourth-innings double-century on debut as West Indies scored a stunning three-wicket win in the first Test.

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The 28-year-old struck 20 fours and seven sixes in his 310-ball 210 not out, guiding the West Indies to complete the fifth-highest chase in Test cricket history.

It also marked the biggest chase in Tests in Asia.

Mayers, who scored 40 runs in the first innings, ended with 250 runs in the match, the second highest for a West Indies batsman on debut.

A left-handed batsman from Barbados, Mayers also became only the sixth player to score a double hundred in the fourth innings of a Test.

“It's a great feeling to be playing Test cricket,” Mayers, who averages about 29 in first-class cricket, said after collecting the man-of-the-match award.

“Then to go on and score a century, and then to make it a double, and then going on to win this Test.

“A guy making his debut and making a double should inspire all youngsters to work hard and reach this level.”

West Indies squad weakened by withdrawals

West Indies sent a weakened squad to Bangladesh after several players, including Test captain Jason Holder, opted out of the tour citing COVID-19 concerns.

Mayers’ 216-run partnership with Nkrumah Bonner (86) for the fourth wicket, West Indies’ highest fourth innings partnership for any wicket since 1984, proved to be the game changer.

The world-record chase of 7-418 against Australia in 2003 is the only time the West Indies have chased down a bigger total to win a Test.

Needing another 285 runs with seven wickets in hand, the West Indies began the crucial fifth day on the front foot, with Bonner pulling off-spinner Mehidy Hasan over square leg for a boundary from the first ball.

Mayers and Bonner then survived several tricky moments in the first hour of the day, with off-spinner Hasan (4-113) and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (2-91) keeping the batsmen on their toes.

Kyle Mayers, pictured here shaking hands with Mushfiqur Rahim after West Indies' win over Bangladesh.
Kyle Mayers shakes hands with Mushfiqur Rahim after West Indies' win over Bangladesh. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mayers brought up his century off 177 balls, after getting an outside edge that flew past gully for his 13th boundary.

In doing so, he became just the eighth batsmen to hit a fourth-innings century on debut.

While Mayers chose to counterattack, Bonner opted to defend in a strategy of caution and calculated aggression that served them well.

After two disappointing sessions, Taijul Islam finally gave Bangladesh some hope, dismissing Bonner in the first over after tea.

But Mayers continued his spectacular attack and brought up his double hundred off 303 balls with a gentle punch to deep backward point for a single.

He then hit his seventh six to put the tourists on the verge of winning before pushing one off Nayeem Hasan to mid-on for a single to confirm the victory.

with AAP

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