Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza (L) is congratulated by his team-mates after getting one of his three wickets against West Indies during their first ODI match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday. — Sourav Lasker
Bangladesh underlined their status as favourites in the three-match one-day international series against West Indies by coasting to a five-wicket win in the opening match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.
Mushfiqur Rahim struck a composed half-century after Mashrafee bin Murtaza and Mustafizur Rahman set-up the win with three wickets apiece that helped the Tigers restrict West Indies to 195-9 in 50 overs.
Bangladesh cruised to 196-5 with 89 balls to spare thanks to Mushfiq’s unbeaten 55 off 70, his 31st
ODI fifty and a typically gritty innings that averted Bangladesh from potential danger.
Chasing a small target on a tricky pitch, where ball came often late, Bangladesh did not have the rollicking start they would have liked as both openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das struggled for their runs.
Liton was reprieved on five on a no-ball by Kemar Roach, but Tamim fell for 12 in his comeback match after a 37-run opening stand.
West Indies’ new pace sensation Oshane Thomas bowled inform Imrul Kayes for four, beating him with his sheer pace before Keemo Paul uprooted the off-stump of Liton, who made 41 off 57 balls with five fours.
Mushfiq and Sakib al Hasan lifted Bangladesh from 89-3 with a 57-run partnership that denied West Indies the kind of momentum they were badly looking for to get back into the contest.
Just when it appeared that Mushfiq and Sakib would finish the game, stand-in West Indies skipper Rovman Powell took the ball in his own hand and induced an edge from Sakib, who perished for 30.
Soumya Sarker, who was pushed down the order to accommodate both Liton and Imrul in the starting line-up, hit Thomas for a four and six in his brief cameo of 19 from 13 balls to kill any excitement West Indies had after Sakib’s dismissal.
Mushfiq soon completed his fifty pushing Roston Chase for a single before an outside edge from his bat off leg spinner Devendra flew to third man for two runs to seal the contest.
Bangladesh, however, should thank their bowlers for making their job easy as they denied West Indies batsman any chance to show their muscle power and earned regular breakthroughs after being asked to bowl first.
Few catches went down but Bangladesh fielders compensated with some brilliant catching as well to the frustration of West Indies batsmen.
Sakib earned the first breakthrough by removing Kieran Powell for 12 but it was skipper Mashrafe, who showed the way with his 3-30, a performance that also earned him the man of the match award.
Coming to bowl unusually as second change bowler, Mashrafee conceded a four off his first ball but gave away just 10 runs in his remaining 6.5 overs of the opening spell to claim two wickets in the process.
Mashrafee however, had Tamim to thank for his first wicket as the left-hander raced from long off to dive forward to complete a spectacular catch that ended a shaky innings of Darren Bravo, who was earlier dropped twice.
Mashrafee then removed Shai Hope, the top scorer of West Indies with 43, slowing down the progress of West Indies, as Bangladesh held the side to 127-6 in the 40th over of the innings.
Chase and Paul gave West Indies some late impetus with a 51-run seventh wicket stand before they both became a victim of Mustafiz.
Chase made 32 while Paul struck two sixes and a four to hit 36 off 28 balls to give West Indies innings some respectability.
Mustafiz made him Mehedi Hasan’s third catch of the day in the final over before finishing with 3-25.
The second match will be held at the same venue on Tuesday.
Source: New Age.