Shai Hope walloped the third-fastest T20I fifty to help West Indies overpower Bangladesh by eight wickets in Sylhet. The hosts were undone by Sheldon Cottrell’s awkward short balls to be bowled out for 129 and then a bumper crowd sat in silence as Hope battered six sixes and three fours to end the contest in a hurry.
Hope reached his fifty off 16 balls, behind Yuvraj Singh (12 balls) and Colin Munro (14 balls). The innings had plenty of brutality in it – especially when he played the pull shot or the slog sweep – but it wasn’t wanting in finesse as a ramp to the third man boundary showed. Hope shared an opening stand of 51 runs in 3.2 overs with the returning Evin Lewis, and then put on 47 in 4.2 overs with Nicholas Pooran.
The visitors raced to 91 for 1, equalling the highest score in the Power play alongside Australia, Ireland and Netherlands, who had also got there in Sylhet, four years ago during the World T20 2014.
Keemo Paul did justice to his promotion to No 4, hitting an unbeaten 28 off 14 balls with a four and three sixes, one of which carried 96 meters, as West Indies completed victory in 10.5 overs.
Bangladesh had chosen to bat first under gloomy skies, and their performance out the home crowd in a similar mood, with only three batsmen reaching double-figures. Cottrell’s career-best 4 for 28, and wickets from Paul, Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite and Fabian Allen, kept Bangladesh in check and bowled them out in 19 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan was the only batsman who showed smarts for Bangladesh
Summarized scores: West Indies 130 for 2 (Hope 55, Paul 28*) beat Bangladesh 129 (Shakib 61, Cottrell 4-28) by eight wickets