Bangladesh win T20 series over West Indies 2-1
Published : 06 Aug 2018, 12:32
Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das opened the innings in destructive fashion, ensuring Bangladesh passed the 50-run mark after just 22 balls the fastest by the Tigers in T20Is as world champions West Indies lost the decisive third T20I by 19 runs (D/L method) runs at Fort Lauderhill.
Liton's blistering 32-ball 61 knock contained six fours and three sixes and he also formed an incredible 28-ball 61-run partnership with Tamim Iqbal, who scored a 13-ball 21 with three fours and a maximum. Their efforts were back up admirably by Shakib Al Hasan (24 off 22) before Mahmudullah Riyad (32 off 20) and Ariful Haque (18 off 16) put on an unbeaten 38 runs partnership to end the innings with aplomb.
After the exchange, the West Indies were under the pressure of a big target, especially keeping in mind that the highest T20 chase at the venue was 161 for 4 by Guyana Warriors against Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League in 2016. And their horrible performance in the six Powerplay overs, at the end of which they reached 32 for three thanks to wickets from Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman and a masterful over from Shakib Al Hasan which returned one wicket for one run was a signal of impending doom.
Denesh Ramdin and Rovman Powell kept things ticking along, hitting just two more boundaries reaching 61 runs midway through their innings just shy of a third of their target, but enough to keep a sliver of hope alive. However, things did not really improve, especially as the big-hitting Caribbean giants could manage only five boundaries, all fours, in the first 10 overs and watched the asking rate balloon north of 12 an over.
The duo's 33-ball 45-run resistance was broken by Rubel Hossain in the 12th over. The pacer bowled Ramdin as he went for a big one, sending the experienced batsman back for an 18-ball 21 and reducing the West Indies to 77 for four.
Just when it seemed that hope was fading fast, Andre Russell came on and brought it back. He hit Rubel for six before returning and blasting Shakib Al Hasan for two more maximums in the 13th over. Those two sixes off Shakib who bowled a mind-boggling 12 dot balls in his four overs and a single from Powell beforehand seemed like a lot, but even still they fell 0.17 short of the asking run rate at the time.
And then, just like that, hope started to fade again. Powell attempted to follow in Russell's footsteps and hooked a shot high into the air and down straight into the hands of Abu Hider. Mustafizur Rahman picked up his second wicket and captain Carlos Brathwaite no questioning his big-hitting ability in crucial moments came on. Russel barely blinked; he hit the Fizz for another six and followed up with a four, taking his total to 28 off 10 balls with four sixes, a four and nothing else.
Bolstered by the heroics of Russell, West Indies reached 116 for 5 after 15 overs, requiring an unlikely but still very possible 69 runs with 30 balls remaining.
Rubel came on for the 16th and did brilliantly, giving away just five runs, but Russell responded in the next over to Abu Hider, blasting the first delivery 111 metres onto the roof of the stadium. Hider's immediate reaction was to go round the wicket and that resulted in Russell taking a single.
Brathwaite came onto the strike and his attempt to launch over the ropes failed miserably as it took a top edge and travelled into the arms of Sabbir Rahman. He departed for a 10-ball 5.
Yet again, however, Russell was unperturbed. He returned to strike and launched another six and the West Indies were left 50 runs from the last 18 balls. That proved too much for even Russell as he blasted a low full toss straight from Mustafizur Rahman to Ariful Haque at the long off boundary to all but deliver the match and series to Bangladesh.
That was the last action before rain interrupted again. The West Indies were 19 runs behind the par score and play did not resume.
After the exchange, the West Indies' chase did not get off to the best of starts as they played out six dot balls with Bangladesh opting to keep their spinners in reserve and open the innings with the twin pace of Hider and Rubel.
Hider gave away seven runs from his over while Rubel gave away five, but both bowlers were on the receving end of a boundary each from Chadwick Walton who came into the team in place of misfiring opener Evin Lewis getting four with a perfectly-timed shot.
Hider returned for the third over but unfortunately, after giving away just four runs from five balls, Walton again found the boundary off the last ball of the over as the West Indies reached 20 for no loss in three overs.
Mustafizur came on to bowl the third over as Shakib opted to stick with pace and he got the breakthrough with the penultimate ball, Andre Fletcher slicing a shot to Nazmul Islam in the deep.
Nazmul Islam heralded the introduction of spin in the fifth over and he was on the receiving end of a horrible knock from Walton. Nazmul dove for the ball behind the non-striker and was stepped on by the spikes of Walton, whose immediate apology provided little relief to the bowler, who was reportedly taken to hospital for treatment.
Soumya was brought on to bowl the remaining three balls and it proved to be a masterstroke as he scalped Walton with a nice variation following a wide. Two subs combined, as Sabbir Rahman took the catch at long on and the West Indies reached 31 for two after five overs.
Shakib brought himself into the game for the sixth over and bowled inarguably the best over of the series so far. He mesmerised the crowd and put the West Indies batsmen in a trance, giving away just one run before castling Marlon Samuels off the last ball of the over to reduce the West Indies to 32 for three at the end of the Powerplay. The captain's delivery barely took off after touching the ground, catching Samuels completely off guard, before Ramdin and Powell set about repairing the innings.
Earlier, Liton made his intentions clear by sweeping Samuel Badree away for four off the first ball of the match and he never looked back.
Knowing that perhaps Tamim who had spoken about taking his time to get settled in after the second T20I would perhaps set himself, Liton continued with his positive approach. He smacked the ball 86 metres for a maximum off Ashley Nurse off the third ball of the second over before shuffling across, swiveling and dispatching another just over the rope off the next ball. He followed up with another boundary, a four this time, which just escaped the man at midwicket before racing to the boundary.
Tamim got his first boundary the next over with a perfectly-executed cover drive, admiring his shot as it raced away. The southpaw, not content with being relegated to a supporting role, played out two dot balls before going down on one knee and dispatching Badree for a big six as Bangladesh reached 37 in the first three overs.
Liton came back on strike to Andre Rusell in the fourth over and it seemed that he was attempting to give Tamim a run for his money as he flicked a ball off his hips for four, before watching a top-edge sail mercifully over the rope off the second ball as he reached 34 off just 11 balls, with all his runs coming through the off-side.
Tamim took the Tigers' past fifty two balls later the fastest they have ever reached the mark driving past the bowler for a boundary before hooking Russel for another four off the last ball of an over that yielded 19 runs.
Liton added another boundary to the partnership off the second ball of the fifth over but the 61-run stand finally came to an end off the fourth ball. Tamim departed for a 13-ball 21, watching his scoop sail harmlessly into the hands of Kesrick Williams with Carlos Brathwaite the benefactor.
Inspired by teammates' fearless approach, even the so-far abysmal Soumya Sarkar managed to clip a yorker off his pads and to the boundary off his first ball, with Bangladesh reaching an incredible 66 for one in five overs. However, his flair did not help him much longer as he was caught by Rovman Powell shortly after.
Keemo Paul the fifth different bowler to be introduced to the attack picked up the wicket as Souyma walked back to the pavilion for a four-ball five, finishing the series with an average of 6.3 across the three T20Is.
Liton finally got back on strike after being deprived for five balls and picked up where he left off, pulling behind for four as Bangladesh amassed 71 runs for two wickets in the Powerplay.
After a relative lull in the action even Avengers: Infinity War would pale in comparison to the action that had been previously witnessed the 23-year-old brought up his maiden T20I half-century off just 24 balls with a single off Sameul Badree off the fifth ball of the seventh over. Mushfiqur finally broke his self-imposed shackles soon after, whipping a sweep for his first boundary off the fifth ball of the eighth over.
Liton survived a scare off the third ball of the ninth over as his cheeky scoop flew just over the outstretched arm of Kesrick but the right-hander continued to live dangerously, slashing the next ball for four again.
Unfortunately, Liton could not find a stable partner to share his workload with as Mushfiqur departed for a dozen runs of 14 balls, caught behind off Brathwaite as Bangladesh reached 97 for three halfway through their innings.
After seven balls without a boundary, Liton attempted one big hit too many and departed for a blistering 34-ball 61. The shot off Kesrick sailed high into the air and Liton helplessly watched Nurse position himself and take a simple catch.
Mahmudullah joined Shakib at the crease with Bangladesh's scorching start suddenly being offset by the scoreboard, which read 102 for four after 11 overs and only unconvincing batsmen waiting behind Bangladesh's remaining two pillars.
Singles had become the order of the day as the pair began to set themselves for long innings and it was only halfway into the 13th over that the next boundary arrived.
Shakib swiveled on a dime like a seasoned ice-skater, hooking the ball all the way to the rope in the process. He could have added four more from a fortunate top edge the next ball, but Kesrick's brilliant dive meant only two runs were added. However, another bouncer from Russell on the last ball provided Mahmudullah the chance to get his boundary; the right-hander also hooking away for four as the over yielded 12 runs and, more importantly, a welcome respite for the Tigers.
Bangladesh took five singles off the first five balls of the next over, bowled by Nurse, before Mahmullah whacked a full toss over the ropes as a five or six run over yielded 11 important runs.
Brathwaite's 15th over yielded nine runs, all coming from good running between the wickets barring one wide, before Paul who had given away five runs for one wicket in his only over was brought back into the attack.
Shakib, who had been dealing only in singles and doubles for the last 13 balls, finally unleashed a shot, middling a full toss to the boundary. Unfortunately, that proved too much of a confidence boost and as he chanced his arm again to a slower ball which was caught by Nurse behind square leg. The captain walked back for a 22-ball 24, leaving Mahmudullah to do the lion's share of the work for the remaining 24 balls.
Mahmudllah who was smacked on the helmet off the third ball and Ariful traded singles for the first three balls of the 17th over before a burst of rain in the Sunshine State caused a delay.
A short episode of 'Great Centuries' played during the interruption, showing Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad's third and latest Test ton. He scored 176 against New Zealand in 2014, his highest Test score to date.
Ariful added two more runs after play resumed with no overs lost before Mahmudullah tickled the ball with his bat and sent it behind the keeper for four off the first ball of the 18th over bowled by Paul. He then took a single, before Ariful got a quick two, another two and then whacked a full toss back over the bowler’s head for four.
Mahmudullah again let go of strike with a single off the first ball of the 19th before Ariful conceded two dots to Brathwaite as his wild swings failed to connect, prompting a talking to from Mahmudullah. Brathwaite then bowled a wide before Ariful's slash finally connected, but it resulted in only for two before another dot ball followed by two runs.
On the first ball of the last over, Mahmudullah slashed Kesrick away for four before taking a single. Ariful then ran a single but the bowler overstepped. Kesrick opted for a yorker on the free-hit, which Mahmudullah incredibly played, splitting his legs and nutmegging the ball in between to the boundary. Riyad then took a single and Ariful played a dot and took two runs to take Bangladesh to help Bangladesh post a challenging 185-run target.
A lot of the credit will certainly go Tamim and Liton's way, but Mahmudullah's 20-ball 32 and Ariful's controlled 16-ball 18 ensured that there would be no late hiccups to undo the good early work.
Bangladesh opted to make no changes to their team from the second T20I while the West Indies dropped misfiring opener Evin Lewis in favour of Chadwick Walton.
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