Liton’s blitz, Mustafizur’s three-for seal Bangladesh’s series win


A complete turnaround – of fortune, form and result – was completed when Bangladesh beat West Indies by 19 runs to clinch the T20I series, to go along with their ODI series win. They reached the 2-1 margin when umpires called off play after a second rain interruption late on Sunday evening in front of a large Bangladeshi expat crowd in Florida’s Lauderhill. Liton Das‘ rapid 32-ball 61 set up Bangladesh’s highest score of the series before Mustafizur Rahman took three key wickets, including that of rampaging Andre Russell, to seal the game.

Russell was Bangladesh’s only headache, and it arrived when West Indies needed a further 108 runs in 8.3 overs. His first five scoring shots constituted of four sixes and a four. Three of those were struck over midwicket and the fourth one a very high hit over long-on. He struck Abu Hider for two sixes on either side of Carlos Brathwaite’s dismissal in the 17th over but refused Ashley Nurse a single off the final ball to keep the strike.

The tactic backfired when Russell holed out to Ariful Haque, who was inches away from the boundary foam at long off. He had struck six sixes and a four in his 21-ball 47 before the umpires took the players off with rain getting heavier, eventually calling off play 25 minutes later.

Liton and Tamim Iqbal tore off the blocks with their 61-run opening stand in only 4.4 overs. After he swept the match’s first ball for four, Liton cracked Nurse over the on-side for two sixes and a four in the second over that went for 17 runs. Tamim then swung Samuel Badree over midwicket for his first six, before the openers combined again to take 19 off the fourth over. Liton first flicked and top-edged a pull off Russell before Tamim brought out his pull shot and a straight drive to round off the expensive over.

Carlos Brathwaite then broke the dangerous partnership when Tamim swept him to short fine-leg. The pair had struck seven fours and four sixes during their partnership. Soumya Sarkar fell in the next over after his 11th low score in a row, but Liton batted calmly in the immediate aftermath, reaching his first white-ball half-century off 24 balls and his first 50-plus score in 17 innings. By then, West Indies had pulled things back with Mushfiqur Rahim’s wicket, who rounded off his tour with a fourth-consecutive low score. Liton followed him to the dugout four balls later, top-edging Kesrick Williams to long-off, but not before striking a total of six fours and three sixes during his 32-ball innings.

Keemo Paul removed Shakib Al Hasan in the 16th over after he made an unconvincing. Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on a 20-ball 32 that had four boundaries and a six, but Ariful Haque struggled in his 16-ball 18, finding just one four as Bangladesh added 47 runs in the last five overs which was pockmarked by a 30-minute rain break.

In West Indies’ reply, Chadwick Walton struck a four in each of the first three overs but they lost three wickets in the fourth, fifth and sixth over. Mustafizur had Andre Fletcher caught at wide third-man, Soumya Sarkar had Walton holing out to long-on and Shakib bowled Marlon Samuels with one that kept very low.

Rovman Powell and Denesh Ramdin added 45 runs for the fourth wicket but it still didn’t help West Indies’ push for fast runs. Rubel removed Ramdin in the 12th over, which brought Russell to the crease. He did threaten something incredible but it was not to be. (ESPNCricinfo)

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