Tamim, Shakib, Mortaza drive clinical Bangladesh to series lead

SUMMARY: Bangladesh 279-4 from 50 overs (Tamim Iqbal 130*, Shakib Al Hasan 97, Mushfiqur Rahim 30, Devendra Bishoo 2-52, Jason Holder 1-47, Andre Russell 1-62) beat West Indies 231-9 from 50 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 52, Chris Gayle 40, Alzarri Joseph 29*, Devendra Bishoo 29*, Mashrafe Mortaza 4-37, Mustafizur Rahman 2-35) by 48 runs.


By Akeem Greene

Though laborious, Tamim Iqbal’s Man-of-the-Match performance of a 10th One Day International (ODI) century coupled with captain Mashrafe Mortaza miserly spell of 4-37 laid the platform for Bangladesh to comfortably defeat West Indies by 48 runs in the series opener on Sunday at the National Stadium, Providence.

Tamim carried his bat through the innings, scoring 130*, which propelled Bangladesh to 279-4 from their allotted overs and hosts gave a feeble response, being held to 231-9.

Tamim Iqbal made his 10th ODI ton

The sprinkling of fans who ventured into the stands should not be surprised since Bangladesh’s seventh-placed ranking in ODI’s in itself says they mean business when it comes to the shorter formats.

For West Indies, it was another tale of two halves with their performance, good with the ball and then awful with the bat on a pitch which looked to have no demons.

Essentially, the innings never got going; Evin Lewis (17) was ominous for a brief period but played a shot too many while Shai Hope’s leg before was fortuitous for the visitors.

The Tigers kept the shackles which meant Chris Gayle played an uncharacteristic innings, labouring for 40 (1×4;2x6s) from 60 balls until miscommunication with Shimron Hetmyer saw him being run-out needlessly at a crucial stage in the match- the score was 81-3 in the 22nd over.

Shakib Al Hasan batted well, but missed out on a hundred

Bangladesh began to tighten the screws, led by 20-year-old off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who had 1-37 in his quota of exceptional bowling.

His lone victim was Jason Mohammed who went for a walk down the pitch and back into the pavilion as Miraz outfoxed him with great deception.

Hetmyer used the crease to his advantage and took the attack the spinners, reaching his maiden half-century from 70 balls. He was the determining factor for whether West Indies could avoid defeat but once again in his fledgling career he gifted his wicket away, smashing Mustafizur Rahman straight to cover which allowed Rhaman to inspire a batting collapse.

Andre Russell’s return to the team after three years did not go as planned a massive six on the roof of the Red Stand, was soon followed by him offering catching practice.

Alzarri Joseph and Devendra Bishoo added late order rally, adding 59 for the 10th wicket which ignited joyful cheers in the audience. Ultimately, it was much too late.

Earlier, the visitors batted as if they were still rattled by the humiliating defeats in the Tests and struggled to find rhythm in the early stages, scoring only three boundaries in the first 10 overs.

The spike in runs of came from the bat of Tamim off the bowling of Russell, who was given the new ball ahead of the express Joseph.

Rain then halted proceedings briefly, but afterwards it was all Bangladesh as their two most experienced batters Tamim and Shakib Al Hasan forged a record second wicket partnership of 207. The previous best of 160 was set by Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique against Pakistan in 2010.

The two left-handers, who combined have 384 One Day Internationals under their belt, used all their experience to saturate the pressure and transfer it back unto the home side.

Shimron Hetmyer made a fifty

However, runs were not coming at any accelerated rate since at the halfway stage there was only 98 on the board. The frustrating aspect for Jason Holder was no wickets were falling and suddenly the boundaries began coming at a regular rate.

Lack of patience meant Windies became sloppy and spoiled the simplest chance to break the threatening partnership when Bishoo created an opportunity but Hetmyer floored Shakib when he as on 84.

Hetmyer quickly made amends when he pouched Shakib three short of an eight ODI century. Tamim did not fall for the same trap as he nonchalantly tapped one to long-off to reach his triple figure score.

Soaking in the standing ovation by teammates, Tamim had to be mindful it was the slowest ODI century by a Bangladeshi- it came off 146 balls.

Oddly, Bangladesh had wickets intact but were not stepping on the accelerator until the diminutive Mushfiqur Rahim came and played a power-packed 11-ball 30 in which he fetched Holder for 22 in the 49th over.

They had entered the last 10-over phase at 187-1 but were only able to add 92 to reach their highest total against West Indies in the Caribbean which was also the fifth highest at Providence.

Though the innings had its various record-breaking feats, the total could have easily been closer to 300 or even more had they showed intent earlier. Only five times the ball cleared the ropes and all of those occasions came after the 23rd over.

The penultimate match in the series starts at 14:30h on Wednesday at Providence, before they head to Warner Park, St. Kitts, for the final match on July 28.

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