ODI: Hetmyer, bowlers give WI series-levelling win

SUMMARY: West Indies 272 all out in 49.3 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 125, Rovman Powell 44, Chris Gayle 29, Shai Hope 25, Rubel Hossain 3-61, Mustafizur Rahman 2-44, Shakib Al Hasan 2-45) v Bangladesh 268-6 (Mushfiqur Rahim 68, Shakib Al Hasan 56, Tamim Iqbal 54, Mahmadullah 39, Ashley Nurse 1-34, Devendra Bishoo 1-39)


West Indies captain Jason Holder bowled one of the best last overs in recent memory to pull his team out of a hole. With seven to defend, Holder conceded just four runs, as West Indies stayed alive, levelling the series with a three-run win.

Holder started the over by removing Mushfiqur Rahim, who swatted a full-toss straight to deep midwicket, bringing back memories of Bangladesh’s 2016 meltdown against India in Bengaluru.

Holder then contained Mosaddek Hossain and Mashrafe Mortaza to just four runs off the next five balls, and roared the loudest, having extracted sweet retribution after being tonked for 62 runs from his nine previous overs.

The match had swung Bangladesh’s way after Mushfiqur and Sabbir took 10 runs off the 47th over, bowled by Keemo Paul, before Holder went for 13 in the next over. With 14 required from the last two overs, the pair took six runs off the first five balls, struggling to find boundaries, which had been a theme in Bangladesh’s innings after the Powerplay. Sabbir got out to the final ball of the 49th over, which had left Mushfiqur with eight to get off the last over.

A lot of the credit must also go to Shimron Hetmyer’s superb 93-ball 125 that pulled West Indies out of a rut and hauled them to a competitive 271 in 49.3 overs. His 103-run fifth wicket stand with Rovman Powell, who contributed a 67-ball 44, was instrumental in their turnaround. Hetmyer had to take the attack to Bangladesh in the last 10 overs almost single-handedly, hitting six of his seven sixes during that period.

When Bangladesh began, Anamul Haque gave them a blazing start with his two sixes and as many fours, but Alzarri Joseph bowled him in the third over. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan maintained that early momentum, however, giving Bangladesh to their fastest fifty in ODIs in 4.4 overs. The pair hit four more boundaries – through point, cover and mid-off – as the visitors sped to 79 for 1 after ten overs.

Then, the picture changed dramatically, as over the next 20 overs, Bangladesh scored only 67 runs. Both Shakib and Tamim needed to use the review to survive lbw decisions, while only getting three fours during this period.

Bishoo then removed Tamim immediately after being introduced in the 25th over, with the opening batsman stumped a long way out of his crease. Shakib also got out to a poor shot, hitting a wide Nurse delivery down point’s throat, after having made 56 off 72 balls, with five fours. Tamim had scored 54 off 85 balls.

Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur kept their calm despite the required run-rate crossing seven per over after 35 overs, keeping them ticking and taking them closer. But after adding 87 runs in 15.5 overs, miscommunication gave West Indies a breakthrough, and set up a nervous last five overs. Mahmudullah, who made 39 having survived a dropped catch on 17, was stranded a long way from the non-striker’s end, after Mushfiqur was hit by a Holder short ball. He struck two sixes in his 51-ball stay, but it was an unusually slow innings.

Mushfiqur, though, batted more forcefully, hitting fours with a scoop and a pull, apart from clipping Joseph for a six in the 44th over. But it all fell apart for Bangladesh in the last two overs.

Earlier when West Indies batted, for the second match in a row, they were slowed down by a build-up of dot balls. Both openers Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle fell leg-before to Mashrafe Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan Miraz respectively. They hit six boundaries between them, but were unable to raise West Indies’ run-rate during their short stays.

Shai Hope didn’t go anywhere with his 25 off 43 balls, before giving Sabbir Rahman an easy catch at cover after Shakib Al Hasan outfoxed him with a delivery that stopped on Hope. When Jason Mohammed fell in the 24th over to Rubel Hossain, who again struck in his first over, the home side were staring at a sub-par total.

Hetmyer and Powell were focused largely on picking singles in their rebuilding process, hitting only a four each between the 20th and 30th overs. Fifty-eight runs came from the next ten overs as they both got into their groove going into the slog overs. Hetmyer struck three more sixes in the 41st, 42nd and 43rd overs, two of them down the ground; his fourth six should have actually been a catch, but a backpedalling Shakib saw the ball burst through his hands. Hetmyer was on 79 at the time.

After Powell’s fall, the West Indies lower-order followed suit quickly. It was only Hetmyer’s three late sixes – twice off a 22-run Rubel over – that pushed West Indies to good total.

By the time he was the last wicket to fall – run-out trying to take a second run in the final over – Hetmyer had 16 twos, apart from his seven sixes and three fours. Bangladesh bowled well in patches, but lost the plot at different times, like in the 48th over, when Rubel, among their more experienced bowlers, was smacked for 22.

He had otherwise bowled well to break the century stand during a key passage to pick up one of his three wickets. Shakib and Mustafizur Rahman took two wickets while there was one each for Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mashrafe Mortaza, who started very well with the ball once again. (ESPNCricinfo)

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