Saturday, 29 January 2022

Hope shines as West Indies blitz Bangladesh in first T20


SYLHET:  Shai Hope smashed the third-fastest fifty in international Twenty20 cricket as West Indies cruised to an eight-wicket victory in their series opener with Bangladesh on Monday.

Cottrell used the short balls to precision to help his side dismiss Bangladesh for 129 in 19 overs before Hope led the charge with a 23-ball 55, his maiden T20 fifty. “Our plan in this game was to just bowl aggressive in whatever we do, whether bowling Yorkers, length ball, short ball. Just to bowl aggressive, and it paid off,” Cottrell said. “We would like to take this momentum into the next two games and finish our tour here. That has been the talk in the camp, just to win some games and get better mood going.”

Hope brought up his fifty off only 16 deliveries to place him just behind India’s Yuvraj Singh (12 balls) and New Zealand’s Colin Munro (14 balls) in terms of fastest T20 fifty. Hope, the man in form who struck two straight unbeaten centuries in ODIs, helped the side pile up 91 runs in the first six overs, the highest runs in T20 International’s first powerplay. Together with Evin Lewis (18), Hope gave the side a rapid start by amassing 51 runs in 3.2 overs. His innings was laced with three fours and six sixes.

Hope scored 19 runs off offspinner Mehidy Hasan in the second over of the chase with three sixes, all of which came by some clean hitting. Pacer Mohammad Saifuddin (1-13) dismissed Lewis amid Hope’s onslaught. However, Hope slog-swept Hasan for six to bring up his fifty, shortly after which he holed one to deep extra cover off off-spinner Mahmudullah (1-13). By then, the West Indies was nicely placed with 98-2 in 7.4 overs. Keemo Paul (28 not out) and Nicholas Pooran (23 not out) completed the inevitable.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and opted to bat first. The captain was key in Bangladesh’s 129, hitting a 43-ball 61, studded with eight fours and two sixes.

Only two batsmen, Ariful Haque (17) and Mahmudullah (12), reached double digits. “Everything went wrong today other than the toss,” Shakib said. “We didn’t bat well and didn’t bowl well. It was a good surface, we should’ve scored at least 175.” Cottrell, aided by fellow fast bowler Oshane Thomas (1-33), ripped through the top order with a barrage of short balls, leaving Bangladesh at 31-3.

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