Visiting West Indies handed Bangladesh a perfect Twenty20 lesson when they thrashed the home side by eight wickets in the first match of the three-match series in Sylhet on Monday.
The Caribbean side used their pace to unsettle Bangladesh’s top-order before bowling out the hosts for just 129 runs in 19 overs, despite skipper Sakib al Hasan scoring 61 off 43 balls.
The visitors made a mockery of their target, reaching 130-2 in just 10.5 overs thanks to yet another brilliant effort by an in-form Shai Hope, who hit 55 off 23 balls, the third quickest ever Twenty20 fifty.
The victory of West Indies was never in doubt after Hope smashed spinner Mehedi Hasan for three sixes and a four in the just second over of the innings, which yielded 23 runs.
Mohammad Saifuddin ended Hope’s 51-run opening stand with Evin Lewis (18), which came off just 20 balls.
But Hope and other West Indies batsmen ensured there was little respite for Bangladeshi bowlers as the Caribbean made 91 runs in the first six overs of batting power play, the joint highest in Twenty20 international.
Mahmudullah prevented Hope from inflicting more damage, forcing the batsman to give Mustafizur Rahman a catch at extra-cover, his first dismissal in three innings, though it did not bring any change in game scenario.
Nicholas Pooran (23 off 17 balls) and Keemo Paul (28 off 14 balls) maintained the tempo, helping West Indies racing to win with 55 balls in hands, in terms of quickest win against Bangladesh only seconded by News Zealand’s 10-wicket win with 70 to balls to spare in 2010.
The success of all West Indies batsmen, who tried their hands, only indicated that the wicket was beautifully placed for stroke play, though apart from Sakib no other Bangladeshi batsmen realised it.
Sakib used the extra-pace of West Indies bowlers to his favour to hit eight fours and a six to his eighth Twenty20 fifty, but most others chased the short balls to bring their downfall.
Jamaican soldier Sheldon Cottrell took the maximum benefit to rip apart Bangladesh’s batting order and finish with career best 4-28 while he was brilliantly complemented by Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite and Keemo Paul.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar all fell to single digit figure chasing the short ball before a run out of Mushfiqur Rahim, left Bangladesh reduced to 48-4 before the sixth over was completed.
Sakib and Mahmudullah somewhat repaired the damage with a 25-run stand and just when they were expected to put the pressure back on West Indies, Cottrell struck again by removing the latter.
It set the stage for Ariful Haque to show why he was regarded as a Twenty20 specialist but the all-rounder missed out another opportunity by getting dismissed for 17 off 18 balls.
Ariful’s dismissal added pressure on Sakib, who had no choice but to go for his shots, and it cost him his wicket rather prematurely. West Indies took only nine more balls to warp-up the innings.
The second and third match of the series will be held in Dhaka, respectively on December 20 and 22.
Source: New Age.