Sports Desk: Bangladesh made a mockery of West Indies bowling to seal an emphatic eight-wicket victory in their tri-series opener at the Clontarf Cricket Club Ground in Dublin on Tuesday.
An excellent team effort saw Bangladesh home, quelling over the uncertainty over their ability to beat West Indies following their 88-drubbing at the hands of Ireland Wolves in the practice game just 48 hours ago.
The bowlers paved the way of the crushing victory, having restricted West Indies to 261-9 when it looked they would end scoring 300. The batsmen then played their part superbly with Tamim Iqbal yet again setting the platform upfront.
He struck a well-composed 80 runs, his 45th half-century, that was complemented by Soumya Sarkar’s 68 ball-73 and Shakib Al Hasan’s run-a-ball-61 not out as Bangladesh reached the target, making 264-2 in just 45 overs.
Tamim’s start is always important in helping Bangladesh win the game-a statement repeatedly delivered by captain Mashrafe proved preciously yet again.
He was cautious at the start and even survived on 5 when Roston Chase put down a catch off Kemar Roach. But he managed to keep his wicket in an unwavering resolve when West Indies fast bowler swung the ball admirably with great pace.
Soumya Sarkar, who replaced Liton Das to open with Tamim, paid off the faith kept on him. He was also nervous but some audacious shots boosted his confidence such way that he started taking West Indies bowler in precision when Tamim was struggling to get his eye in at the other end.
With the help of luck and pluck, the duo survived the threatening spell of Roach and Shannon Gabriel and then executed their shots in effortless way to leave the Caribbean side in a spot of bother.
The duo shared 144-run before Darren Bravo took an excellent catch in boundary line off Roston Chase delivery to get rid of Soumya Sarkar. Before being dismissed, Soumya struck nine fours and one six in his 73-run knock.
Shakib Al Hasan joined Tamim to pace the innings and removed any apprehension of collapse, which Bangladesh tasted more often after a big partnership.
As Tamim looked poised for his 12th ODI century, Gabriel took out Tamim, ending the 52-run partnership between him and Shakib.
By the time, the opener was dismissed, Bangladesh looked set for a facile victory. Mushfiqur Rahim kept up the tempo, sharing a 68-run partnership with Shakib in an undefeated third wicket stand to sail the side home with such ease that Bangladesh even didn’t imagine.
Shakib smashed three fours and two sixes in his 61 not out while Rahim smote two fours and as many sixes in his unbeaten 25 ball-32.
But the bowlers should be credited to make it one-way traffic. Shaip Hope followed his 170 against Ireland with yet another century to leave Bangladesh in a perilous state.
As Jason Holder opted to bat first, Shai Hope and his fellow opener Sunil Ambris who replaced injured John Campbell, combined for a 89-run partnership for the opening stand.
They took the Bangladeshi pacers in disdain before spinner strangled the run fest. Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraj removed Ambris (38) and Darren Bravo to peg back the West Indies innings before Hope found an apt support in Roston Chase.
Together with them, they shared 115-run to set up a 300 plus score. But it was not to be. Shai Hope scored 109, his sixth century and Chase made 51 before Mashrafe dismissed both of them in a space of three runs across two overs.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza then led an excellent comeback of Bangladeshi bowlers, sparking a sensational collapse to West Indies batting line up that saw them loss seven wickets for 55 runs to be restricted to a moderate total.
Mashrafe claimed 3-49 while he was ably supported by his fellow pacemen Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman, both of whom snapped up two wickets apiece.
In a show of utter domination, there was only spot of bother-Mustafizur conceded 84 runs in 10 over despite taking two wickets.
risingbd/May 8, 2019/Mukul