Bowlers keep Bangladesh alive

Azad Majumder . Taunton | Published: 00:15, Jun 18,2019


Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman (R) celebrates the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell with team-mate Sakib al Hasan (C) during their ICC World Cup match at The County Ground in Taunton on Monday. — AFP photo

West Indies did what they usually do best but Bangladesh managed to a get a hold on the side by restricting them to a gettable score in their World Cup match in Taunton on Monday.

The Caribbean threatened to take the game away, especially in the middle overs, but Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin did well to help Bangladesh restrict them to 321-8 in 50 overs.

It was West Indies’ highest total in this World Cup, bettering 273-9 against Australia, but on a small ground in Taunton, where the maximum length of a boundary was 68 metres, this was always expected.

It left Bangladesh needing to score exactly the same amount of runs that they scored against Scotland in the previous World Cup in Nelson, New Zealand on a similar ground.

The script of the game followed a familiar tale as Shai Hope held one end firmly and the other West Indies’ batsmen tried to build around him in order to get to a strong total.

Hope closed in on his fourth one-day international century against Bangladesh in 10 matches before Mustafiz managed to get rid of him on 96 runs, denying West Indies any late impetus.

Mustafiz (3-59) and Saifuddin (3-72) shared six wickets between them to stop their run flow and give Bangladesh finally a belief that if they could bat well they would still come out better in the game.

West Indies had everything under control once they reached 240-3 in 39th over with Shimron Hetmyer at his terrific best after scoring a blistering 50 off 25 balls.

Credit should go to Mustafiz, who looked wayward in his first few overs before finding his length that earned him two wickets in one over to change the course of the innings.

He also had the ball swinging reverse that got him the wicket of Hetmyer (50 off 26 balls) and Andre Russell in space of three balls in the 40th over of the innings.

Bangladesh still had to do well considering the depth of batting in the West Indies side, which was evident in Jason Holder coming ahead of regular batsman Darren Bravo.

Holder did his part to hit 33 off just 15 balls before one full toss from Saifuddin prompted the West Indies captain to go for a wild slog and Mahmudullah took an easy catch at long on. 

West Indies still had hope in Hope but Mustafiz completed his redemption with his wicket to finally expose their tail as the Caribbean added just 33 runs in their last five overs.

On a day, when West Indies had almost all of their guns blazing, this was no small effort, which also kept the game in the balance.

Bangladesh dominated the first 10 overs to give away just 29 runs and had things in their control in the last five overs to keep them alive in a contest which they had to win.

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