Bangladesh Clinch Series In Tense Finale

Bangladesh Clinch Series In Tense Finale
Bangladesh Clinch Series In Tense Finale
©REUTERS/Andrew Biraj. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Bangladesh 221-8 (Roach 5-56) beat
West Indies 217 (Pollard 85) by 2 wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Mirpur
Report by Daniel Grummitt

Despite failing to chase 212 yesterday, Bangladesh managed, just about, to chase six more than that today to win an absorbing five-match series against the West Indies by three games to two. They lost regular wickets throughout their run chase and it was left to number ten Elias Sunny to partner Nasir Hossain when the winning boundary was hit.

Shafiul Islam had earlier made the most of his first chance of the series, taking three for 31, as the West Indies batsmen - Kieron Pollard apart - again struggled. The hosts then had to deal with an early triple-strike from Kemar Roach and eventually won a tense game by just two wickets, albeit with plenty of overs to spare.

The match had started in a familiar vein for the West Indies as they quickly slipped to 17 for three against the off-spin of Sohag Gazi and, this time, the seam of Shafiul Islam, who replaced the injured Mashrafe Mortaza in the Bangladesh line-up. 

Kieran Powell started the mini-collapse of three for one in 29 balls by dancing past a Gazi off-spinner, while Chris Gayle completed it by cutting Shafiul to Nasir Hossain at backward point. In between the two, Mahmudullah ran out the West Indies’ main man, Marlon Samuels, with a direct hit.

The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth overs of the West Indies innings were all maidens - a statistic that becomes even more remarkable bearing in mind that Chris Gayle was at the crease for most of them. Darren Bravo eventually broke the deadlock with a cut through point for four and, along with Kieron Pollard, would go on to silence the crowd over the course of the next hour and a half.

Pollard took enough time to get his eye in before launching a devastating assault on the Bangladesh spin quintet, while Bravo played a responsible second fiddle. Pollard blasted eight sixes during his 74-ball innings of 85, reaching 50 off just 49 balls, and being particularly severe on Elias Sunny, who went for 58 runs from eight overs.

The introduction of part-timer Mominul Haque proved to be Pollard’s downfall. He aimed a swipe at a straight delivery, missed, and saw his off-stump pegged back. That ended a partnership of 132 off 147 balls that had been a masterclass in how to launch a counter-attack.

Unfortunately, another collapse followed and from 149 for three, it became 188 for six when Bravo was out for 51 off 108 balls from the first ball of the 41st over. The tail didn’t offer much in the way of resistance and the West Indies were all out for 217 without using a full two overs of their allocation.

It was then over to Roach to provide Bangladesh with the problems that Darren Sammy had yesterday. He bowled Tamim Iqbal in his second over, had Anamul Haque caught brilliantly by Pollard at point four balls later, and Jahurul Islam - who had replaced Naeem Islam at number three in the hosts’ line-up - caught behind to make it 30 for three in the ninth.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah then set about rebuilding as Pollard and Bravo had done for the West Indies. They chose the middle ground between Pollard’s all-out attack and Bravo’s more cautious accumulation, although still scored at an impressive rate thanks to some wayward West Indies bowling. Their partnership was worth 91 before it was broken by Sunil Narine, who removed both to peg the home side back to 133 for five.

Fortunately for the hosts, the Bangladesh lower-order proved rather more resilient than the West Indies’ had earlier, as Nasir Hossain found support, first from Mominul Haque (25) and then from Sohag Gazi (19), to stave off a late onslaught from Kemar Roach to end on 39 not out and on the winning side.

The final act in the West Indies’ tour of Bangladesh is on Monday when the two teams do battle in a one-off Twenty20 International.

The hosts named their squad for that match earlier today, with Sohag Gazi, Mominul Haque and Anamul Haque replacing the injured Shakib Al Hasan and the discarded trio of Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful and Farhad Reza from the squad that contested the ICC World Twenty20 in September.

© Cricket World 2012




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