A bowling fightback and a solid chase from Bangladesh’s top-order led them to an eight-wicket win over West Indies in the second match of the tri-series in Ireland. Mashrafe Mortaza had led a fine bowling effort to engineer West Indies’ batting collapse at the death, where they went from 205 for 2 in 40.4 overs to 261 for 9 in 50 overs. After that, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar set up the chase with a 144-run opening stand. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim completed the job with five overs to spare.
Shakib completed the win with a beautiful straight drive, which took him to an unbeaten run-a-ball 61 that included three fours and two sixes. He added 68 runs for the unbroken third wicket stand with Mushfiqur, having already put on 52 with Tamim for the second wicket.
Tamim, who top scored with 80 off 116 balls with seven fours, and Soumya added 144 runs, Bangladesh’s highest opening stand against West Indies in ODIs. But it started with a bit of luck when Roston Chase dropped Tamim’s uppish drive at cover, when he was on 1. The pair had put on only 38 runs in the first ten overs, with Soumya hitting three gorgeous boundaries and Tamim, after patiently waiting for the right opportunity, slamming Kemar Roach for successive fours in the tenth over.
It set them for the next ten overs, in which they added 69 runs. Soumya blasted Jason Holder for a straight six, and then played the upper-cut off the same bowler a few overs later. Soumya and Tamim were looking ominous in the next six overs, hitting boundaries and picking up singles quite easily.
But a moment of brilliance in the field separated the openers, when Darren Bravo caught Soumya at the deep midwicket boundary. He held the ball at first, was overbalancing, so he threw it up in the air, then stepped over the boundary and came back inside to complete the catch. It was against the run of play, and gave West Indies a lifeline. Soumya had made 73 off 68 balls with a six and nine fours, but where West Indies should have tightened their bowling and fielding, they did the opposite.
Their fielders kept missing regulation balls, while their bowlers couldn’t string together a tight spell. Tamim and Shakib added 52 for the second wicket before Mushfiqur and Shakib kept hitting the gaps, and waiting for the West Indies bowlers to err in length, or for the fielders to mess up.
Sunil Ambris couldn’t judge a Mushfiqur slap towards deep point, and the wicketkeeper then slammed a pull to reduce the target down to four runs.
While Bangladesh accelerated as the innings progressed, West Indies went in the opposite direction as they lost their last seven wickets for 56 runs in 9.2 overs. The collapse split their innings into two parts, but one didn’t complement the other as it should have. West Indies started off well, with Hope and Sunil Ambris putting on 89 runs for the opening wicket. Mashrafe bowled a mean spell during the Power play but control only came when he introduced spin in the 14th over. Shakib started with a tight couple of overs before Mehidy Hasan Miraz removed Ambris, with Mahmudullah taking a smart catch at cover.
Bravo fell in the next over, but Hope and Roston Chase put together 115 runs for the third wicket, seemingly setting up a final flourish. Shakib and Mehidy applied pressure in the middle overs to cut down the scoring, with Mashrafe utilizing his bowlers splendidly.
Chase fell in the 41st over when he top edged Mashrafe to short fine-leg, having made 51 off 62 balls. The Bangladesh captain also removed Hope and Jason Holder in the space of three balls. Shakib then took a brilliant catch, diving to his left at long-on, to send back Jonathan Carter. Mohammad Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman conceded 50 runs in the last seven overs, and didn’t concede a single boundary in the last 2.4 overs.
More runs in the last 16 balls perhaps could have helped West Indies, as would have more consistent bowling and better fielding. Bangladesh would also have liked to see Mustafizur bowl better, but that is why these teams are playing the tri-nation series: so that they can iron out the gaps that exist before the World Cup comes around.
Summarized scores: Bangladesh 264 for 2 (Tamim 80, Soumya 73, Shakib 61*) beat West Indies 261 for 9 (Hope 109, Chase 51, Mashrafe 3-49, Saifuddin 2-47) by eight wickets