Windies Opener Shai Hope helped his team to a massive eight wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first T20I in Sylhet, scoring a rapid 55 off 23 balls chasing a target of 130.
Ably supported by Nicholas Pooran (23 off 17 balls) and fellow opener Ewin Lewis who scored 18 off 11 balls, Hope’s innings was littered with six sixes and three fours as Windies made light work of the target, reaching it in just 10.5 overs for the loss of two wickets.
Bangladesh’s top-order failed to perform once again, with the team losing wickets at regular intervals and failing to stitch together any significant partnerships. Tamim Iqbal (5), Liton Das (6), and Soumya Sarkar could not reach double figures, and the hosts found themselves reeling at 31-3 in as early as the fourth over.
It was due to the efforts of Shakib-Al-Hasan who made 61 off 43 balls that Bangladesh could reach a respectable score. Walking in to bat with the score at 19-2 and Liton Das back in the pavilion courtesy Sheldon Cottrell, Shakib played a mature knock which included eight boundaries and two sixes.
However, Mahmudullah (12) and Ariful Haque (17) were the only other two batsmen who reached double figures, as Shakib kept losing partners around him. With Keemo Paul and Carlos Brathwaite bowling tight lines, Bangladesh found it hard to score runs. Both Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque were dismissed caught in the deep, trying to heave the ball away.
And when Shakib was out caught and bowled by Sheldon Cottrell, who picked up career-best figures of 4 four 28, Bangladesh was soon all-out in 19 overs.
In reply, Shai Hope and Evin Lewis took the attack to the new bowling pair of Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan from the get-go. The opening stand of 51 was brought up in just 3.1 overs, and the assault continued even after Lewis was dismissed by Mohammad Saifuddin.
Nicholas Pooran came in to bat and targeted Abu Hider and Mohammad Saifuddin, who both registered bowling economies of double digits. Hope soon brought up his half-century, but was soon dismissed on 55, Mahmudullah picking up his wicket as he was caught by Mustafizur Rahman.
But the damage had been done by this point, and Keemo Paul finished the job courtesy a brisk 14-ball-28, helping Windies reach the target in just over ten overs.
With the win, Windies take a 1-0 lead in the three match T20I series. The second T20I will be played in Mirpur on Thursday.