Saturday, 4 December 2021

Shakib ton helps Bangladesh chase 322 to rout Windies

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Taunton   –   Shakib Al Hasan’s sublime unbeaten 124 helped Bangladesh pull off the second highest chase in World Cup history with a dominant seven-wicket win over West Indies at Taunton.

After Shai Hope hit 96 as West Indies set 322 for victory, the Tigers made a rapid start but lost two wickets in quick succession to leave the game evenly poised at 133-3 off 19 overs. But Shakib took apart the West Indies’ one-pace attack, reaching his second successive century of the tournament off 83 balls.

He put on 189 with Liton Das, who accumulated calmly before sensationally accelerating, hitting Shannon Gabriel for three consecutive sixes. Das, making his World Cup debut, ended with a brilliant 94 not out off 69 balls, hitting a four to take Bangladesh to their target with 51 balls to spare.

Victory lifted Bangladesh to fifth in the table and maintains their chances of reaching the semi-finals, while also effectively ending West Indies’ hopes. Jason Holder’s side will have to win their four remaining games, including tough matches against India and New Zealand, to stand a chance, but they looked stunned after a chastening defeat. This was no shock, though – Bangladesh have now won five one-day internationals in a row against West Indies and outperformed them in all areas.

West Indies’ fast bowlers started the tournament dismantling top-order batsmen but their effectiveness has waned and the lack of a plan B was ruthlessly exposed here – 55% of all deliveries were short despite Bangladesh playing that length with ease. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar cut and pulled with aplomb in a fast start to the chase, as did Shakib after Sarkar had guided one to Chris Gayle in the slips.

It meant Bangladesh never had to panic about the required rate, even when Tamim was brilliantly run out by Sheldon Cottrell – gathering a drive hit back to him and throwing down the stumps in one movement – and Mushfiqur Rahim was caught behind down the leg side.

Man of the match Shakib Al Hasan said: “It feels great. To stay at the wicket till the end was the most satisfying. I’ve been working on my batting and it’s paying off. (On wanting to bat at 3) I know if I bat at 3 I’ll get more opportunities, more time to bat. What happens sometimes if I bat at 5, is I’ll come in at the 30th over or 40th over, which I felt is not ideal for me. I’m working on my bowling too. At this moment I’m doing okay but I can certainly get better. (on supporters) They have been fantastic throughout this World Cup, I hope they keep on supporting us.”

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said: “(On why he went off) Hamstring was a bit tight but we had enough bowlers to cover. The turning point was Mustafizur getting those two wickets. (On Shakib) He has delivered for the team, every match he has come and done something which is really exceptional. Hopefully others will join him. Last two matches Mushfiqur batted well, today Liton batted brilliantly. Normally he bats at the top, it was a tough ask to bat at 5, but he coped with that and delivered.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder said: “Bit of both. I thought we were about 40-50 short, the wicket played well throughout. We could have been more discipline with the ball and we also let ourselves down in the field. It was just a situation where we never got momentum going as we should. If you score 320, you have to try really hard to defend. We didn’t get wickets and also let some chances slip. No excuses, we should have been more disciplined. Having said that, every game is a final and we have to pull ourselves up.”

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