Dubai: Shakib Al Hassan has been in the form of his life. The Bangladesh all-rounder notched up his second successive century in this World Cup to keep the Tigers in the hunt for the title. The left-hander, who is now the tournament’s leading run-scorer, had a lucky escape, which was the turning point for the West Indies downfall.
The Caribbeans did not alter their game plan and once again relied on bouncers, peppering many short deliveries to the Bangladesh batsmen. But they were ready for the barrage and gleefully made full use of them to score at will. However, one short ball from Andre Russell took the top edge off Shakib Al Hassan, when on 55, and fell in between Shai Hope and the fine leg fielder. Had the wicketkeeper not ran so far backwards, it could have been easily taken by the on-coming fielder.
Al Hassan rode his luck as several shots either just sailed over the fielders or fell short. He even survived a run out chance when Hope missed the ball. Even Liton Das was dropped once. With so many chances going abegging, it was clearly Bangladesh’s day, who must have been on a high especially after defeating the West Indies in the tri-series final in Ireland to win their first title.
The Caribbeans once again did not get their act together and made several errors. Led by Hope, who missed a well-deserved century by four runs after anchoring the innings, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer all made substantial contributions on a track that had plenty of runs on it. However, Mustafizur Rahman again proved why is one of world’s top-rated bowlers in shorter formats.
The left-arm pacer struck twice in an over to stall the West Indies’ march towards a huge total. This is the second instance in this World Cup that West Indies have lost two wickets in an over - the previous occasion being when another left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc of Australia dismissed Carlos Brathwaite and skipper Jason Holder.
Fizz dismissed Hetmyer and three balls later had the dangerous Russell caught behind. On a sore note for the West Indies, both Chris Gayle and Russell were dismissed for zero, and despite the two leading stars not scoring any run, they managed to score 321 for eight in 50 overs, which was only a few runs short of a record chase in the World Cup history.
Nonetheless, it was way short of the projected score midway through the innings, with West Indies scoring 79 runs in 11 final overs. It was another forgettable outing for the West Indies, who showed plenty of promise early in the event and with some of the leading stars now under an injury cloud, the hopes are fading thick and fast.
But beware Tigers are ready for an ambush.
C. Gayle C Mushfiqur b Saifuddin 0
E. Lewis c sub (Sabbir) b Shakib 70
S. Hope c Das b Mustafizur 96
N. Pooran c Soumya b Shakib 25
S. Hetmyer c Tamim b Mustafizur 50
A. Russell c Mushfiqur b Mustafizur 0
J. Holder c Mahmudullah b Saifuddin 33
D. Bravo b Saifuddin 19
O. Thomas not out 6
Extras (lb6, w16) 22
Total (eight wickets, 50 overs) 321
Fall of wickets 1-6 (Gayle), 2-122 (Lewis), 3-159 (Pooran), 4-242 (Hetmyer), 5-243 (Russell), 6-282 (Holder), 7-297 (Hope), 8-321 (Bravo)
Bowling Mortaza 8-1-37-0, Saifuddin 10-1-72-3, Mustafizur 9-0-59-3, Miraz 9-0-57-0, Mosaddek 6-0-36-0, Shakib 8-0-54-2
Tamim Iqbal run out (Cottrell) 48
Soumya Sarkar c Gayle b Russell 29
Shakib Al Hasan not out 124
Mushfiqur Rahim c Hope b Thomas 1
Liton Das not out 94
Extras (b1, w25) 26
Total (three wickets, 41.3 overs) 322
Fall of wickets 1-52 (Soumya), 2-121 (Tamim), 3-133 (Mushfiqur)
Bowling Cottrell 10-0-65-0, Holder 9-0-62-0, Russell 6-0-42-1, Gabriel 8.3-0-78-0, Thomas 6-0-52-1, Gayle 2-0-22-0
Result Bangladesh won by 7 wickets