DHAKA: An exceptional third ODI century from Shai Hope saw the West Indies earn a nail-biting four-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second ODI in Dhaka.
Hope hit 146 from 144 balls, in an innings that featured 12 fours and three sixes, levelling the series after Bangladesh cruised to a five-wicket win in the first ODI.
Windies won the toss and elected to field as Bangladesh’s three batting veterans of Tamim Iqbal, Musfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan came to the fore. All three scored half-centuries as they took Bangladesh to 255/7 from their 50 overs.
The visitors began strongly; Liton Das was struck an unfortunate blow with his left ankle bearing the brunt of an Oshane Thomas yorker, leading to him being taken off the field. Imrul Kayes was to follow Das back to the changing rooms not long after, edging behind without a run to his name.
Tamim and Mushfiqur got Bangladesh back on track, the pair putting on a 111-run partnership. Despite recently returning from injury, Iqbal looked in good touch, striking four fours and treating Keemo Paul to a maximum with a slog over long-on.
Mushfiqur proved to be a fine partner for Tamim, hitting five fours on his way to 62 from 80 balls. The pair were to be interrupted by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who had Tamim caught at deep midwicket, the opener departing shortly after reaching his 43rd ODI fifty.
Mushfiqur was dismissed not long after, finding the keeper as he tried to cut hard at a Thomas delivery. Mahmudullah and Shakib set out to help Bangladesh recover once more, with the pair putting on 61 for the fourth wicket. While Mahmudullah struggled for fluency, Shakib proved to be more destructive, striking 65 from 62 deliveries, hitting six fours and one six.
Nevertheless, Shakib wasn’t to bat through the innings, flummoxed by a Kemar Roach slower ball that crashed into the stumps. Bangladesh’s innings would come to a tame end, as the Windies excelled at the death, mixing up their pace to limit the Bangladesh scoring. Despite the 45th over leaking 16 runs, the Windies proved effective in halting a late-innings onslaught, conceding just five runs across the last two overs.
Windies were dealt an early blow in their reply, losing Chandrapaul Hemraj in the second over, trapped in front of his stumps by Mehidy Hasan Miraz. The spin of Shakib and Mehidy put on the screws in the opening overs, with the first boundary of the Windies innings coming at the end of the seventh over, a Darren Bravo punch through the off-side releasing a bit of pressure.
Hope treated Mustafizur Rahman to a six over wide long-off in his first over, as he began to find some more fluency. Mashrafe Mortaza was deposited for two sixes from the 15th over as Hope and Bravo began to build a solid platform, only for Bravo to be bowled two overs later by Rubel Hossain with 27 runs to his name.
Marlon Samuels joined Hope who continued to play the anchor role, and at 132-2 approaching the 30-over mark, it seemed that the Windies were in control. Their apparent comfort was to be ruined by a Bangladesh fightback, as Samuels (26) edged behind to Mushfiqur, before Hetmyer (14) top-edged to square leg. Rovman Powell (1) followed quickly and the dismissal of Roston Chase (9) saw Windies reeling on 185/6 after 39 overs.
Cue heroics from Hope, who reached his century from 118 balls with a punch through cover from Mortaza for a single. The game continued to swing through the course of the last few overs, and with Windies requiring 32 from 18 balls, it appeared that Bangladesh were set to wrap the series.
Hope begged to differ, crunching Rubel down the ground for six off the first ball of the 48th over, before depositing Mustafizur for three fours in the penultimate over. Hope received strong support from Paul, who finished off proceedings with two balls to spare, pulling Mahmudullah into the leg-side to run two and level the series. The final ODI will serve as a decider, and is set to be held on Friday at Sylhet.