PRODVIDENCE – Hamstrung by a slow pitch, West Indies failed to fire, and Bangladesh, led by their most capped opener Tamim Iqbal and most capped bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, won the first One-day International by 48 runs on Sunday.
With the Guyana National Stadium pitch in stark contrast to the surfaces they have exploited throughout the last six weeks in Tests against Sri Lanka and this opponent, the Windies bowlers gained slow bounce and little movement, to the delight of the Bangladeshi batsmen.
Tamim collected his tenth One-day International hundred, an unbeaten 130, to anchor his side to 279 for four in 50 overs after they chose to bat.
The home team’s batsmen, however, failed to adjust to the conditions and though there were periodic explosions from the bat, the resolve required was absent and they limped to 231 for nine in 50 overs, with Mortaza using his vast experience to collect 4-37 from ten overs.
Before it was over, Shimron Hetmyer increased his value with a typically flamboyant 52 from 78 balls that included five fours; veteran Chris Gayle gathered 40 before he was run out just when it looked like he was getting into gear; and Alzarri Joseph and hometown boy Devendra Bishoo, both finished on 29, provided some tail-end entertainment in an unbroken last-wicket stand of 59.
Apart from the pitch, West Indies were let down by sloppy fielding, and Tamim survived an early chance to lead the charge for the tourists.
Four clear misses and several close calls blotted the Windies’ copybook, paving the way for a 207-run stand between Tamim and Shakib-Al-Hasan, whose 97 from 121 balls included just six fours.
Entering the final stages, the hosts still seemed to have a rein on things with Bangladesh 211 for two, but Mushifqur Rahim arrived to blast a quick-fire 30 and put on 54 in 21 balls with Tamim to add meat to their team’s total.
Lewis was caught at mid-off off Mortaza for 17, slicing a drive in the ninth over and Shai Hope departed for six after he failed to review a dubious lbw decision when he played across the line to a delivery from Rubel Hossain in the 13th over to leave West Indies 41 for two.
Windies immediate past and immediate future stars Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer came together and looked to be setting a foundation for a charge to the finish.
Gayle, however, was run out in the 22nd over, when Hetmyer failed to respond to his call for a single to short third man, leaving West Indies 81 for three – and the innings lost momentum from this point onwards.
Earlier, West Indies conceded dropped Tamim on 17 and Shakib survived three chances, as they built a foundation for their side, after Jason Holder had Anamul Haque caught at second slip for a third-ball duck in the second over.
The Windies bowled with such discipline early on, Bangladesh got their first boundary, when Russell conceded the three in the ninth over to Tamim.
But this also precipitated a period in which the fielders failed the bowlers, as Ashley Nurse put down Tamim, on 17, at cover in the 11th over; Nurse too, bowling his off-spin, suffered, when an under-edge from Shakib, on 15, deflected from the thigh of wicketkeeper Shai Hope and flew past Chris Gayle at slip, and next over, Joseph had the same batsman, on the same score, dropped for a second time, when Gayle, again at slip, parried a shoulder-high chance. (CMC)