World T20: West Indies keep slim hopes alive with narrow win
SUMMARY: West Indies 142-7 (Pooran 40, Chase 39, Shoriful 2-20) beat Bangladesh 139-5 (Liton 44, Mahmudullah 31*, Holder 1-22) by three runs
Defending champions West Indies kept their Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final hopes alive with a tense three-run win over Bangladesh in Sharjah.
Chasing 143 to win, Bangladesh needed 13 from the final over and worked that down to four from the final ball. Captain Mahmudullah missed though and Bangladesh suffered a third straight loss to be all-but eliminated.
Earlier West Indies limped to 48-3 from 10 overs before making 142-7, thanks to Nicholas Pooran’s 40.
Bangladesh could still make the last four if one of England or Australia, who meet at 15:00 BST on Saturday, win all five of their group games, and then other results leave the other five teams all on four points.
Net run-rate would then decide the second semi-finalist, but with Bangladesh’s currently -1.069 it is extremely unlikely they’ll be able to progress.
West Indies batting perplexes, but they find a way
After being bowled out for 55 by England and then crawling to 143-8 against South Africa, West Indies’ batting had questions to answer.
They made changes with Lendl Simmons dropped for Roston Chase and Chris Gayle promoted to open.
It was a fresh Sharjah pitch that was low and slow, making natural stroke play difficult, but they were again guilty of poor shots and a questionable lack of intent as Evin Lewis made just six, Gayle four and Shimron Hetmyer nine.
Matters got worse when captain Kieron Pollard retired ill – returning later to hit the final ball for six – and Andre Russell was run out at the non-striker’s end off the boot of bowler Taskin Ahmed without facing a ball.
The holders were indebted to Pooran – who hit four sixes and one four in his 22-ball cameo – and Jason Holder, who hit two sixes in the final over to finish unbeaten on 15 from five balls.
West Indies bowled well in the powerplay to restrict Bangladesh to 29-2 with Shakib Al Hasan, opening for the first time in Twenty20 cricket, and Mohammad Naim both dismisssed.
Partnerships of 31 between Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das, and 30 between Das and Mushfiqur Rahim moved Bangladesh into a position where they should have won the game.
When Mushfiqur was bowled, Bangladesh needed 53 from 39 balls and an 11-run 16th over made that 33 from 24 balls.
A superb over from Dwayne Bravo followed with just three runs conceded and that saw the pendulum swing once more.
Bangladesh hit a four from the first ball of the 18th over and a six from the first delivery in the penultimate 19th over, but were unable to find the rope enough in the final overs to sneak over the line. (BBC Sport)