Shakib Al Hasan's unbeaten knock of 124 runs lead Bangladesh to a comfortable seven wicket win against West Indies at Taunton. Liton Das scored unbeaten 94 runs, and this win means Bangladesh move on to the fifth spot of the points table.
18 June, 2019, 02:07 am
Last modified: 18 June, 2019, 03:41 pm
The saying “Khelbe Tiger, Jitbe Tiger” never rang truer than it did for Bangladesh against the Windies on Monday as Shakib Al Hasan scored another World Cup century to flatten the Windies bowling and chase down a big 322-run target with seven wickets and 51 deliveries to spare at Taunton.
Liton Das was at the other end and helped form a match-winning 189-run partnership with the world’s number one ranked all-rounder record Bangladesh’s highest-ever chase in a World Cup game.
Having won the toss, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza once again decided to bowl first and went with the same bowling lineup that lost against England, despite calls for Rubel Hossain to be included given his express pace.
The Tigers started well and Mohammad Saifuddin bowled a beautiful away swinging delivery to catch the outside-edge of ‘Mr. Universe’, Chris Gayle’s bat to send him back early, with the score at 6/1.
Shai Hope and Evin Lewis then steadied the ship and soon started to find their feet as they attacked the Bangladesh pacers, especially Mustafizur Rahman, who was struggling to find rhythm with the new ball.
They put on a 116-run stand, the highest partnership for the Windies against Bangladesh in World Cups.
But then Shakib managed to dismiss Lewis after he went from one shot too many. Hope and Nicholas Pooran couldn’t do too much damage and he too was dismissed by Shakib for 25.
But then came Shimron Hetmyer and he took apart the Bangladesh bowling to score a 25-ball fifty, the joint fastest this World Cup before Mustafizur took his wicket and then the big one of Andre Russell in the 40th over to bring the Tigers back.
Captain Jason Holder then came in and kept the fast scoring going before he mishit a low Saifuddin full toss and was caught at long off by Mahmudullah, scoring a 15-ball 33.
Hope was getting bogged down at the other end as he neared his century, but he became Mustafizur’s third victim after scoring 96.
The Windies did finally manage to cross the 300-mark thanks to some big sixes from Darren Bravo but a total of 350-plus was kept down to 321/8 due to some smart bowling at the death from the Tigers.
Bangladesh started off cautiously but soon both openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar started to find the gaps and played some delightful strokes against the Windies fast bowlers.
Andre Russell however came on and had other ideas as he cramped Soumya with a short delivery and he ended up scooping it to the big hands of Gayle at first slip.
In came Shakib, and he made his intentions clear when he smashed a boundary straight back past Holder when he was bowling. Tamim too upped the ante and took the attack to the fast bowlers.
With the partnership becoming dangerous and taking Bangladesh past the 100-run mark, Sheldon Cottrell produced the fielding effort of the day as he picked up the ball from a Tamim drive and immediately threw it back at the stumps of Tamim who was short of his ground.
Tamim departed for 48, his highest score in the World Cup so far.
With rain in the air and Bangladesh well ahead of the D/L par score, Mushfiqur Rahim came in, but lasted just five deliveries to score one run and bring the Windies back in the game.
In came Liton, who replaced out-of-form Mohammad Mithun and he initially struggled with pressure mounting.
Shakib though kept playing his shots and pulled anything short to good effect. The left hander brought up his fifty and Liton soon started to play a few shots.
Shakib then brought up his century with a wonderful cover drive in the last ball of the 34th over. With 52 still required off 13 overs, Liton cut loose smashing three sixes in a row off a Shannon Gabriel over which eventually went for 24 runs.
Liton and Shakib finished off the chase without much fuss as Liton was not out on 94 from 69 balls and he hit the winning runs off of Gabriel.
Shakib’s 124 off 99 balls, his 9th ton in ODI cricket, had 16 boundaries and earned him man-of-the-match.
This win takes Bangladesh up to fifth spot in the table with two wins from five games and keeps them in the hunt for the semis if they can win at least three more games.
Windies will now have to win all their remaining games and with a healthy run rate to hope of making it to the semis as they are stuck on three points from five games and placed seventh.
Shakib Al Hasan became the second Bangladeshi batsman to reach 6000 ODI runs after Tamim Iqbal during his century.
The 32-year-old becomes the fastest to 6000+ runs and 250+ ODI wickets, doing it in just 202 games, overtaking Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who did it in 294 games.
Shakib’s century now propels him back to the top spot of most runs scored this World Cup with 384 runs as he overtook Aaron Finch who is on 343 runs.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderation decisions are subjective. Published comments are readers’ own views and The Business Standard does not endorse any of the readers’ comments.