:: Peoples Time Online ::
Bangladesh 196-5 (Mushfiqur Rahim 55*, Chase 2-47) beat West Indies 195-9 (Hope 43, Mashrafe 3-30, Mustafizur 3-35) by five wickets
Spin, pace and sagacious batting took Bangladesh to a five-wicket win over West Indies in the first ODI in Dhaka. The only plan the visiting side seemed to have when defending a below-par 195 for 9 was to blow the home batsmen away with pace. But that wasn’t a very useful ploy on a slow and low pitch.
After Mashrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets each to restrict West Indies, Mushfiqur Rahim’s unbeaten 55 ensured victory with 14.5 overs to spare.
Mushfiqur, who came in to bat after two quick wickets, struck five fours in his 70-ball stay. He let Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan dictate their partnerships with him. He relied on reverse sweeps for early boundaries before getting two past both sides of the wicketkeeper and one through the covers.
Bangladesh’s reply had started nervously when Liton, batting on five, flicked Kemar Roach right down deep square-leg’s throat in the seventh over. But after several replays, it was ascertained that Roach had overstepped.
Liton responded by sweeping Roston Chase for two fours but then saw Tamim Iqbal fall to the same bowler later in the over, caught at cover. Imrul Kayes, whose previous ODI series fetched 349 runs, fell second ball to Oshane Thomas who blazed an inswinger through his bat and pad.
Liton took a step back but soon after the first Powerplay, he struck fours with a square-cut, a cover drive and a deliberate outside edge. He added 47 runs for the third wicket with Mushfiqur before missing a hoick off Keemo Paul, throwing away a good start after having worked hard for his 41. He had struck five fours in his 57-ball stay.
Mushfiqur then added 57 for the fourth wicket with Shakib, who struck four boundaries in his 26-ball 30. After hammering Paul for a pulled four, Shakib struck the pace bowler for consecutive fours through cover and mid-on with easy drives. However, he was caught behind trying to blast Rovman Powell back over his head.
Soumya Sarkar, batting at No. 6 for a change, entertained with two upper-cuts off Thomas for a four and a six, but fell to Chase in the next over with 21 runs needed for victory.
West Indies were earlier tied down by Mortaza, who was playing his 200th ODI, and Mustafizur. Mortaza removed Darren Bravo, who made a laboured 19 off 51 balls upon his return to ODIs after more than two years. Bravo had enjoyed reprieves on 13, with substitute Ariful Haque shelling a chance at point, and on 18, with Mushfiqur failing to hold on to one to his left. When he eventually fell, it was to a spectacular catch by Tamim, who dived full-length forward while running in from long-off.
Mortaza then had Shai Hope, who top-scored with 43 off 59 balls, caught at point before removing his opposite number Rovman Powell, caught at mid-off.
Mustafizur was excellent in the last five overs, breaking a sprightly 51-run stand for the seventh wicket when he had Chase skying to point in the 48th over. Paul, who struck two big sixes and a four in his 28-ball 36, also fell to Mustafizur in the last over, before the seamer had Devendra Bishoo caught and bowled one ball later. The partnership between Chase and Paul was the only time West Indies had a measure of dominance with the bat, and played a role in getting them towards 200.
Bangladesh had strangled West Indies initially with spin, when Shakib and Mehidy Hasan Miraz limited the strokeplay of Kieran Powell and Hope. Almost everything worked in Bangladesh’s favour in the game, culminating in one of their easier wins over West Indies.