Saturday, 19 October 2019

Mustafizur, Mushfiqur put Bangladesh in final

DUBLIN: Bangladesh ensured their place in the tri-series final after a resounding five-wicket win over West Indies in Malahide. After their bowlers fought hard to restrict them to 247 for 9, Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim struck fluent half-centuries and dominated the chase as they sealed victory with 16 balls to spare.

Mustafizur Rahman’s first four-wicket haul in eight months, as well as discipline from Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan, and Mashrafe Mortaza’s three wickets, took the momentum from West Indies twice, after they chose to bat first.

Then it was Soumya’s turn in the spotlight, his 54 off 67 balls getting Bangladesh off the block quickly. After they had lost three quick wickets in the middle-overs to Ashley Nurse, Mushfiqur put together two partnerships, 83 runs for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Mithun, and 50 runs for fifth wicket stand with Mahmudullah, to boss the chase. West Indies also contributed heavily to their own defeat, missing five chances during the Bangladesh innings. Kemar Roach dropped two catches while Fabian Allen and Shai Hope couldn’t reach the ball despite a dive. Nurse’s poor throw cost them Mithun’s wicket early during the defining fourth-wicket stand.

After Tamim Iqbal struck the fourth ball of Bangladesh’s chase for a thumping four, Soumya piled the pressure on Sheldon Cottrell and Roach, hitting them for a six and four boundaries in the first five overs. Tamim then cover drove Cottrell, before getting two more fours off Nurse in the ninth over.

But later in the same over, Nurse bowled Tamim with one that dipped on the left-hander, and struck his leg-stump. After their 54-run opening stand, Soumya added 52 runs for the second wicket with Shakib. During this partnership, Soumya survived two chances: at short cover when Allen couldn’t quite hold on to the chance diving forward, as well as Roach dropping a straightforward chance at short midwicket.

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