West Indies looked a spent force as they trudged off the field after a Shakib Al Hasan-inspired Bangladesh exposed their weaknesses at the County Ground yesterday.
West Indies made what seemed a competitive 321-8, with Shai Hope (96), Evin Lewis (70) and Shimron Hetmyer (50) making the significant contributions. Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman captured 3-59.
On one of the smaller grounds at this Cricket World Cup, Shakib and company made a mockery of the chase, blazing to 322-3 with 51 balls to spare.
At the end, left-hander Shakib, batting at three, plundered a 99-ball 124 not out, while Liton Das laced 94 not out from only 69 deliveries. West Indies seam bowler Andre Russell, hobbling much of the time due to his chronic knee trouble, was the best bowler with 1-42.
The two, who came together at the start of the 19th over, punished some erratic bowling while riding their luck at times, and scored at a breakneck pace throughout their unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 189 runs.
“There were a few top edges that didn’t go our way, probably, and we didn’t do ourselves any favours,” West Indies Captain Holder said in reference to a chance not taken when Shakib top-edged a cross-batted shot.
He also noted West Indies’ start of 32-1 from the opening 10 overs after Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field.
“We knew up front in the first 10 overs we had to really knuckle down and get through that period. That probably was the toughest period of the innings,” he said during yesterday’s post-match conference.
“But I think we should have been able to rotate the strike a little better and find the boundary a little bit with a little more freedom.
“I reckon a par score on this wicket, with the dimensions of the ground, is probably 360, 365, maybe 370, and we were well short of that,” he explained.
“With 321 on the board, we still [had to] go out there, fight and make a game of it. We needed new-ball wickets. We didn’t get it today. They batted well. Shakib came in really well and Liton Das played really well. Got to give them credit,” Holder added.
Starting in gloomy conditions against an energetic bowling attack, West Indies lost veteran opener Christopher Gayle for a 13-ball duck, but left-hander Lewis and Hope put on 116 for the second wicket.
Lewis showed signs of form for the first time at this World Cup, scoring freely in his 67-ball knock. At the other end, Hope was stylish as ever, but on occasions was guilty of picking out the fielder with crisp shots.
Pooran (25), Hetmyer and Holder (33) and Hope, towards the end, tried to give the innings impetus but all fell to catches in the deep.
Bangladesh had no such challenges in their innings and were well in command from the outset.
Their left-hand opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar (29) added 52 runs before the latter was dismissed inside the ninth over. And though Iqbal (48) and Mushfiqur Rahim (one) fell in quick succession, Bangladesh sped to 166-3 from 25 overs. At the same stage West Indies were 122-2.
Liton and Shakib hit the accelerator thereafter to sink West Indies, who stay on three points, to their third loss of the tournament and dent their semi-final chances.
Conversely, Bangladesh moved to five points and gained a boost to their quest for a last-four spot. (Jamaica Obserber)