Taijul Islam made a triumphant return to One-Day International cricket with his first five-wicket haul as Bangladesh completed another series sweep of the West Indies, winning the third and final fixture by four wickets at the Guyana National Stadium on Saturday.
Playing his first ODI for more than two years, Taijul had a dream start with a wicket off his first delivery to set the stage for an outstanding effort. He finished with impressive figures of five for 28 as the home side was dismissed for 178 off 48.4 overs batting first.
Bangladesh stumbled along the way in pursuit of the modest target with Gudakesh Motie claiming career-best figures of four for 23.
However, the left-arm spinner could not prevent the tourists from reaching the target with nine balls to spare.
Liton Das set the Bangladeshis on the way to an 11th consecutive ODI win over the West Indies with an even 50 while captain Tamim Iqbal played his part with 34.
They seemed determined to trip themselves up with some careless shots though before an unbeaten 32 from wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan in partnership with Mehidy Hasan saw them home.
“I was very fortunate to finally get an opportunity on this tour because I was practising and working very hard and I’m glad I made full use of it,” said Taijul via an interpreter on receiving the man of the match award.
His victims included top-scorer Nicholas Pooran, the West Indies captain ending a run of low scores in one-dayers with an innings of 73 off 109 balls with two sixes and four fours embellishing his innings.
Only three other players got into double figures in what was yet another sub-par overall batting effort by the Caribbean team.
“I felt I still left some runs out there but I am happy to finally get a decent score in ODIs even though it’s obviously disappointing to lose once again,” said Pooran.
“We have to lift our heads from here and try to learn from this experience because we have two more tough opponents ahead before we get a break.”
West Indies start another three-match ODI series against India on Friday in Trinidad, followed by five T20 Internationals.
They then take on New Zealand in three ODIs and three T20Is.
“I am really proud of this group to have completed back-to-back ODI series wins away from home,” said Tamim in noting that this triumph follows similar success in South Africa in the preceding campaign.
“We are missing three players in our top five so great credit has to be given to these players here who have stepped up to the challenge and delivered.”
With 116 runs from the three matches at an average of 58, the Bangladesh skipper earned the additional accolade of man of the series.