Shakib Al Hasan produced one of the great World Cup performances, stringing a domineering 124 not out to his two-wicket haul as he anchored Bangladesh’s highest chase in an ODI. In the process, he reached 6000 ODI runs, became Bangladesh’s highest run-scorer at a World Cup, the second after Mahmudullah to make two centuries for Bangladesh in the tournament, and added his name to yet another one of the six Bangladesh century stands in World Cups. That apart, he also took Bangladesh past West Indies’ 321 with 8.3 overs to spare in Liton Das’ company.
Shakib came in, as he has done all tournament, at No. 3 despite Liton’s inclusion in Bangladesh’s XI. At 52 for 1, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had provided a start similar to the one during their win against South Africa; this held true both in terms of the scoring rate as well as the kind of new-ball bowling they had faced. Going in with five fast bowlers, West Indies were bowling decidedly short, with little to indicate a Plan B.
This played into Bangladesh’s hands on a ground with short boundaries. Tamim led the initial attack, slashing and pulling boundaries, and occasionally jumping on top of the bounce to punch on the rise through the off side as West Indies counted on persistence rather than adaptability with their tactics. According to ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball data, 112 balls were short or short of a good length. Bangladesh made 177 runs against those deliveries and lost two wickets.
It took a sharp piece of fielding from Sheldon Cottrell in his bowling follow through to provide West Indies a half-chance, one that he took as he tore down the stumps at the striker’s end even as Tamim fell short looking to dive back into his crease. It was about when rain made its first appearance, but not enough to force the players off. Shortly after, Bangladesh lost Mushfiqur Rahim caught down the leg side with an over left for the 20-over DLS cut-off. But as they navigated that situation, staying narrowly ahead of the DLS par score, the sun crept out. And with it came a step-up from Shakib.
Summarized scores: Bangladesh 322 for 3 (Shakib 124*, Liton 94*, Tamim 48) beat West Indies321 for 8 (Hope 96, Lewis 70, Hetmyer 50, Mustafizur 3-59, Saifuddin 3-72) by seven wickets