Batting meltdown leads to series defeat for West Indies
SUMMARY: West Indies 108 all out from 35 overs (Keemo Paul 25*, Shai Hope 18, Kyle Mayers 17, Rovman Powell 13; Mehidy Hasan 4-29, Nasum Ahmed 3-19) vs Bangladesh 112-1 from 20.4 overs (Tamim Iqbal 50*, Litton Das 32*, Najmul Shanto 20; Gudakesh Motie 1-39)
By Avenash Ramzan
A batting display that had recklessness written all over it was the catalyst for another ODI series defeat for West Indies, as Bangladesh reigned supreme in tough conditions at the National Stadium, Providence, on Wednesday.
While conditions for batting were difficult initially, the West Indies batsmen didn’t help their cause, seemingly throwing caution to the wind in their execution.
A total of 108 was never going to be enough for Bangladesh, who have been playing their best cricket in this format.
And clinical in their execution, Bangladesh’s top three, led by their experienced captain Tamim Iqbal, coasted to a commanding nine-wicket win, with as many as 176 balls remaining.
The authoritative victory gave the Asian side an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which wraps up on Saturday at the same venue, starting 09:30h.
Bangladesh won the toss for the second game in a row and opted to bowl first yet again.
For the second time in succession it proved the right decision, as the spin pair Nasum Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan combined to force West Indies in a corner.
Shai Hope (18) and Kyle Mayers (17) put together 27 for the first wicket, but that turned out to be exactly a quarter of what the ‘Men in Maroon’ would get, as an implosion saw them cartwheeling to 86-9.
The ignominy of being dismissed under 100 was averted by hometown boy Keemo Paul, playing his first match after being cleared of COVID-19.
The right-hander, batting at number eight, finished on a topscore of 25 not out off 24 balls (4x4s), adding 22 for the last wicket with compatriot Gudakesh Motie, who made six.
In between the first and last wicket partnerships, West Indies lost eight wickets for 59 runs, quite a few of them their own doing.
Probably the most telling one was the injudicious and ill-advised reverse sweep by skipper Nicholas Pooran, the first ball he faced crashing into his stumps off the bowling of Ahmed.
Brandon King’s dance down the wicket and completely missing the line of the delivery, Rovman Powell top edge which got height more than distance and Romario Shepherd’s reverse sweep with his stumps exposed felt like a manic rush in the death overs of a T20 contest.
It was far from it- overs were aplenty- but West Indies seemed on a mission to ignore that fact.
That they also faced a 145 dot balls in an innings that ended with 15 unused overs spoke to the lack of intent in rotating the strike.
Ahmed, who started the slide, ended with impressive figures of 10-4-19-3, while Hasan, who tightened the grip, finished with 8-1-29-4.
The second half of the game was quite the opposite, as bat dominated ball, led by the most experienced batsman between the two sides.
On his way to passing 7,900 ODI runs, Tamim played a calm hand, ending the game with a drive down the ground to get to his 53rd half-century in the format.
His unbeaten 50 off 62 balls (7x4s) was the base around which the other batsmen built. In partnership with Najmul Shanto (20), Bangladesh got a start of 48 in 12.1 overs.
Tamim and Litton Das then closed out the contest an unbroken stand of 64, with the latter scoring a free-flowing 32* off 27 (6x4s).
Left-arm spinner Motie at least brought some joy for the crowd in attendance, picking up the lone wicket to fall.
That wicket and Paul’s cameo were the lone sparks for the West Indies on a day that nothing really went right.