Guyana: After rolling over without putting up much of a resistance in the two Test matches, Bangladesh came out on top in the first of three ODIs, played at Providence on Sunday, registering a 48-run win.
Batting first, they rode on Tamim Iqbal’s 130*, Shakib Al Hasan’s 97 and Mushfiqur Rahim’s frenetic 11-ball 30 to put up 279/4. It was always going to be a steep chase for the Windies despite the presence of Chris Gayle and other heavy hitters in their line-up, and with Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, picking up 4/37, all the home side could manage was 231/9.
It started well enough for the Windies after they lost the toss, with Jason Holder, their captain, sending back Anamul Haque for a duck in the second over. But from there till the 45th over, it was one-way traffic as Iqbal and Shakib slowly but steadily put Bangladesh in command.
The two batsmen didn’t go hammer and tongs at any stage, scoring their runs and building their partnership patiently.
Shakib, one of Bangladesh’s brighter sparks in a disappointing Test series, hit just six boundaries in his 121-ball innings, and should have got his eighth century in ODIs before falling with the milestone one stroke away.
Indeed, despite the runs he and Iqbal put up, the going was perhaps a tad slow for long parts, and Shakib fell trying to up the pace, his slog sweep off Devendra Bishoo only going off the top edge for Shimron Hetmyer to latch on to.
Iqbal was also on 97 at that stage, with Bangladesh on 208/2 following Shakib’s dismissal, and got to his 10th century in the very next over, a push through the covers getting him to the mark. It was the slowest century by a Bangladeshi in ODI cricket, coming off 146 balls.
But the pace picked up after that as Iqbal and Rahim found the boundary in the last few overs. The last three overs went for 10, 22 and 21, Rahim the main reason for it as he slammed three fours and two sixes in his cameo.
The general feeling was that Iqbal, especially, and Shakib had taken too long in scoring their runs and Bangladesh were slightly behind the par score, but their pacers ensured that 279 was enough.
Mortaza struck first, sending back Evin Lewis, and Rubel Hossain added to the good work by dismissing Shai Hope to leave the Windies at 41/2 in the 13th over.
There was a good partnership after that as Gayle (40) and Hetmyer (52) added 40 for the third wicket, but a misunderstanding between the two led to Gayle being run out, and things went downhill from there.
Wickets fell one after the other, and the Windies were 172/9 as Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman (2/35) did most of the damage. Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph swung their bats around to add 59 for the last wicket, both hitting unbeaten 29s, but it was much too little.
The second match will be played at the same venue on Thursday, 26 July.
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