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Bangladesh win after routing West Indies for 61

 

West Indies had lost only two and four wickets during their victories in Mirpur but this Chittagong pitch was different. Its pace was sluggish, its bounce low and the ball did not come on to the bat. There was turn too. To add to that, rain on the eve of the match had left the outfield soggy, and shots hit along the ground lost speed quickly. Batting conditions were far from ideal. Mushfiqur Rahim won his fourth out of four tosses on the tour and put West Indies in.

To succeed, the batsmen needed tremendous patience and application, and West Indies had neither. Bangladesh’s bowlers, to their credit, did not give an inch and Danza Hyatt and Kieran Powell, playing because Lendl Simmons had a back problem, struggled. They added 10 runs in six overs before Hyatt lost composure and attempted to loft Nazmul Hossain, who replaced Rubel Hossain for this game, down the ground and edged to slip.

Marlon Samuels, the scourge of Bangladesh, tried to play like he had in Mirpur. He stayed back in his crease irrespective of whether the ball was full or not and attempted to drive and steer behind point. After 14 quiet deliveries Samuels carved Shafiul Islam and holed out to Suhrawadi Shuvo at sweeper cover. West Indies were 33 for 2 in the 11th over.

Powell was the best of the batsmen, which wasn’t saying much, as he played with an upright stance and used his top hand to drive straight and through the off side. He hit the only four boundaries during the mandatory Powerplay, all of them against medium-pace. Spin in the 12th over, however, was a tougher test and Powell was bowled off the second ball he faced from Nasir Hossain. The offbreak drifted into the left-hander, pitched on leg stump, and ripped across the outside edge to hit the top of off. It was the delivery of the match.

The very next ball, Nasir induced a return catch from Kieron Pollard. These were his first one-day wickets and Nasir had reduced West Indies to 34 for 4.

The innings went into free-fall thereafter. Darren Bravo edged a square drive to the keeper off Shafiul in the 13th over and Darren Sammy was lbw to Shakib Al Hasan’s first ball. Shakib went on to cut through the lower order, finishing with figures of 4 for 16 as he ended the innings in the 22nd over.

Defending 62, no matter how hard the pitch and outfield was to bat on, was impossible. West Indies could have dismissed Imrul Kayes before he lofted Sammy down the ground for six, but Powell dropped a regulation chance at first slip of Kemar Roach. Kayes fell soon after, though, getting a leading edge to cover while trying to fend off a short ball from Roach. Bangladesh were 25 for 1.

Bangladesh lost Shahriar Nafees – picked ahead of Mohammed Ashraful – soon after but Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur, who promoted himself to secure victory on a demanding pitch, finished the job. Tamim top scored with 36 and hit the winnings runs off the last ball of the 20th over, as rain began to fall in Chittagong.

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