West Indies beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets

Wed, December 19, 2018
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West Indies beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets
Published : 01 Aug 2018, 10:22:31
West Indies beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets
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West Indies 93 for 3 (Russell 35*, Mustafizur 2-18) beat Bangladesh 143 for 9 (Mahmudullah 35, Williams 4-28) by seven wickets (by DLS method)
 
Coming into the T20I series, there were some concerns over Andre Russell's fitness. In addition to a hamstring niggle, there were fresh concerns over his knees. He missed two ODIs last week, but roared back into his favourite format with a match-winning unbeaten 21-ball 35 in a stiff 91 chase off 11 overs.
 
West Indies, who slipped to 10 for 2 by the second over in a revised chase - Bangladesh originally made 143 for 8 before rain came down - waltzed home in the end with 11 balls to spare. After the match, a "bit worried" Russell, who was promoted to No. 3, said while he wasn't yet 100 percent fit, he was "happy enough to be playing at probably 95%."
 
If Russell's knock proved to be the topping, Kesrick Williams' four-for set up the game after Carlos Brathwaite, the T20I captain, elected to bowl. The medium pacer varied his lengths and slower deliveries on a surface with bounce and carry to finish with career-best 4 for 28. The wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim was particularly significant as it came after Bangladesh launched a swift counter-attack to offset scoreboard pressure at 43 for 4 in the sixth over.
 
The wicket, though, was superbly set up by Brathwaite, who brought third man square anticipating Mushfiqur's ramp over the infield. While he managed to execute one such stroke to the boundary, a second such attempt off the next delivery resulted in his downfall in the 10th over. From there on, Bangladesh were reliant entirely on Mahmudullah to bail them out, and while he managed to make a sprightly 27-ball 35, lack of support from the others did Bangladesh in.
 
Bangladesh stuttered right at the outset, losing Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar in the very first over, off Ashley Nurse. Tamim, who made two centuries in the three-ODI series, charged down recklessly to be stumped off the first ball while Soumya was bowled playing back to fullish quicker delivery that skid through to beat the outside edge. This would be Nurse's only over, which Brathwaite later put down to "tactics."
 
Bangladesh could have so easily been 7 for 3 had Marlon Samuels not shelled a straightforward catch at cover to reprieve Shakib off Russell. This hardly deterred Shakib and Liton Das, who were unafraid to continue playing adventurous cricket. This spell brought Bangladesh 38 runs off 28 balls before Keemo Paul's raw pace accounted for the pair off successive deliveries in the sixth over.
 
Liton mistimed a pull to the agile Andre Fletcher at deep square, and Shakib was out to a brilliant catch - yes, that man Kesrick - at third man. Kesrick leapt high to catch, but tossed the ball back up as the momentum took him over the ropes at third man, only to retain his composure and catch the ball back once inside the field of play.
 
This period was followed by a quick 47-run stand between Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah, who fed off Samuel Badree's inconsistency by clouting him for two fours and a six in an 18-run over. This was to be the only passage where Bangladesh showed any signs of batting domination on the night.
 
Play was then halted for close to 80 minutes, and when play resumed, West Indies were set 91 off 11 overs, as compared to their original target of 144 in 20. Mustafizur Rahman pulled things Bangladesh's way immediately by removing Ewin Lewis and Fletcher in a double-wicket maiden off the second over. But before Bangladesh could even let that sink in, they had to content with Russell's power.
 
Promoted to No. 3, he added 42 with the returning Marlon Samuels, who made an enterprising 13-ball 26 before falling in the sixth over. This hardly affected Russell as he took on Mustafizur by mowing his slower length ball for six over midwicket and then following it with three fours in an expensive 18-run seventh over. This wholeheartedly turned the game in West Indies' favour, one they sealed with Rovman Powell's clean strike over long-on in the 10th.-ESPNcricimfo
 
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