West Indies Square Series Thanks To All-Round Sammy
West Indies 211-9 (Sammy 60no) beat
Bangladesh 136 (Sammy 3-28) by 75 runs
Fourth One-Day International, Mirpur
Report by Daniel Grummitt
When West Indies went two-nil down to Bangladesh just five days ago there were again calls in some quarters for their captain Darren Sammy’s head. However, less than a week later Sammy has played a starring role in helping West Indies level the series.
His unbeaten 60 from number eight allowed the West Indies to recover from more spin-induced woes to post a competitive total, while his first-over double-strike provided the hosts with a setback from which they never recovered.
The West Indies batting line-up had struggled against a Bangladesh spin attack which had been bolstered by the inclusion of slow left-arm spinner Elias Sunny. However, it was Sohag Gazi, again opening the bowling, who again caused Chris Gayle problems.
Ever since having his first ball in international cricket hit for six by the West Indian talisman, Gazi has largely enjoyed the better of their subsequent duels. He troubled Gayle again today, only for Mashrafe Mortaza to benefit from the left-hander’s attempt to escape from the shackles, having him caught - ironically by Gazi - at mid-off.
Marlon Samuels partnered Kieran Powell for a while after that, but, just as Bangladesh were starting to worry about the possibility of another big score by the in-form Samuels, having dropped him twice, Sunny created a third chance. Samuels skied to mid-off where a grateful Anamul Haque clung on to begin another West Indies middle-order collapse, this time of four for eight in 39 balls.
Sunny picked up Powell for 26, while Abdur Razzak dispatched Dwayne Smith and Mahmudullah had Kieron Pollard caught behind to make it 79 for five. Darren Bravo hung around and made 34, but it was Sammy who proved the West Indies’ main saviour. He added 43 with Bravo and then guided the tail well enough to take the score past 200. Sammy struck five fours and two sixes during his 62-ball knock and took West Indies to a competitive 211 for nine from their 50 overs.
At the start of their chase, Bangladesh would have been most wary of the threat posed by the tourists’ spin pair of Sunil Narine and Veereasamy Permaul on a turning pitch. However, by the time Narine was introduced in the 16th over, the match was almost over.
Sammy removed Anamul Haque and Naeem Islam in his first over, while Kemar Roach chipped in with the wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Nasir Hossain in his second as the ball seamed around under lights.
Mushfiqur Rahim gave the home side hope with a sixth-wicket stand worth 74 with Mahmudullah, but Narine had him stumped off a carom ball and the end arrived relatively quickly after that, in spite of Mahmudullah’s second successive half-century.
Bangladesh were all out for 136 in the 35th over, with Sammy taking the man of the match award for his 60 not out and three for 28 off eight overs. As ever, he was typically modest in accepting any praise that came his way, saying simply that he was due a performance and was happy to contribute to the team’s success.
© Cricket World 2012
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