In a bid to clinch the three-match ODI series with a game to spare, Bangladesh faces off West Indies in the second match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here tomorrow (Friday).
The Tigers, though faced a hiccup, made a winning start to the series, with a six-wicket win over the Caribbean side, severely depleted by the absence of their 12 top players.
West Indies fielded six debutants in the first ODI but fought admirably with limited resources. If they could have amassed some more runs on the board, experts believed the scenario of the first match could have been different.
Being sent to bat first, the West Indies was shot out for paltry 122 in 32.2 overs, courtesy to a wily left-arm spin from Shakib Al Hasan, who on his return to international cricket following a year-long ICC-imposed ban, claimed four wickets, conceding just eight runs in 7.2 overs.
West Indies replied through its debutant leg-spinner Akeal Hosein, who scared Bangladesh a bit before finishing with 3-26 in 10 overs. Bangladesh finally needed to play 33.5 overs to overhaul the target.
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal rated the pitch tougher to bat on but that couldn't take the gloss off from Akeal Hosein's excellent bowling.
Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was adjudged man of the match in his first ODI since the 2019 World Cup match against Pakistan, urged Bangladesh not to be complacent, stating that even this West Indian team has enough firepower to push the hosts hard.
"If you think they are not a good team because their first choice players didn't come, you will make a mistake," Shakib said.
"Even we beat their full-strength team at home and away. But they are always a good team and we should not feel complacent about this victory. They won't let us make it a cake-walk. We have to do hard work to beat them," he added.
The two sides had already played 39 ODIs, among which Bangladesh won 16 in contrast to the Caribbean's 21 and two matches fetched no result. The latest victory of Bangladesh was their sixth straight against the Caribbean.
However, Bangladesh also won seven in the last eight games against the visitors, which is enough to scare stand-in West Indies skipper Jason Mohammed.
But Jason vowed to push Bangladesh hard in the second game in a bid to keep the series alive.
"We have to give ourselves a little bit more time. It is difficult to score in the middle overs with the spinners so negotiating that part of the innings is going to be crucial for us," Jason Mohammed said.
"Obviously we need to play that period of bowling a little better. I think we are going to discuss things and see what the best plan is to come up with. We have to try to put a little bit more runs on the board."
"We are inexperienced in terms of batting but I think they are capable of doing the job. It was our first outing. The wicket was a little bit difficult. Hopefully next game, we can put up a better batting performance," he concluded.
The match which starts at 11.30 am, will be aired live at State-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) as well as private TV channels T-sports and Nagorik TV.