Cricket

Williams, Russell power Windies to 7-wicket win


BANGLADESH’S TOUR OF WEST INDIES, 2018

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Williams bagged four wickets to restrict Bangladesh to 143. © Getty

91 in 11 overs was a stiff target, a bit unfair on the hosts after they had managed to restrict Bangladesh to 143. But with rain and DLS expected to play a part, cricket has never been party to everyone’s merry. However, as Windies went about their business in the chase, overhauling the target in only 9.1 overs, it was a testimony to their brilliance in the shortest format. The veteran duo of Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell backed up the good work of the young pacer Kesrick Williams, who was their star with the ball, to help the hosts to a seven-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series at Warner Park.

Put into bat, Bangladesh continued to display their recklessness – ill-timed aggression, a feature that refuses to fade from their game, being their nemesis yet again. And it started from the first ball itself when Tamim Iqbal decided to give a pre-meditated charge to Ashley Nurse only to be undone by his fast delivery. The batsman missed, the ‘keeper stumped and paved way for an early collapse. Soumya Sarkar too was bowled in the opening over and gave Windies the perfect platform to start off the series.

Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah proved productive but they were throwing their bats at everything. Given the early loss of openers and not the most adequate batting ability in the lower order, they were always playing against the odds.

Another double-wicket over ensued when Keemo Paul got rid of Liton Das and Shakib off successive deliveries. Right after Das was dismissed, Shakib slashed at a delivery but was caught at third man by Williams who did a fine a job near the boundary ropes.

Mahmudullah stitched two useful partnerships with Mushfiqur Rahim and Ariful Haque respectively. Initially, Mahmudullah gave the charge, especially to Samuel Badree, and slammed him for two fours and a six in the 7th over. The acceleration enabled Bangladesh to reach 95 for 5 in 10 overs. However, once Mushfiqur fell, the scoring rate dropped drastically.

The most comical of their dismissals was that of Ariful. In the 15th over, Russell’s delivery hit his pads on the way to the ‘keeper. Everyone went up in appeal while Dinesh Ramdin rolled the ball towards the stumps. It missed the stumps at Ariful’s end but rolled on to hit the non-striker’s end while Mahmudullah was out of his crease. Mahmudullah was walking back to the dugout when the leg umpire stopped him. Replays however eventually revealed that a deflection off Ariful’s pads had in fact dislodged the bails before reaching the keeper.

Mahmudullah survived then, but only for a brief period. Williams, who was brought in to the attack in the 9th over, had his measure and then accounted for two more. In the last 10 overs, Bangladesh managed to add only 48 runs.

144 seemed like an easy chase, but more than 45 minutes of rain reduced the target to 91, needed off only 11 overs. Windies began positively but a double-wicket maiden by Mustafizur Rahman had left them reeling at 10 for 2 in two overs, with both the openers dismissed.

Despite the slow nature of the wicket, Windies were on the assault mode, led by Marlon Samuels to begin with. He went after Shakib and Nazmul Islam. Russell joined the carnage too. Samuels’ dismissal in the sixth over threatened to make it tough for the hosts but all of that was rested with Russell taking over the charge from the next over. Mustafizur, coming on to bowl his second, was carted for two sixes and as many boundaries in an 18-run over. Two more monster sixes off Nazmul in the next over brought down the equation to 5 off 18 balls, a requirement way beyond Bangladesh’s reach to contain.

Even Rubel Hossain’s fine second over, which costed only a solitary run, couldn’t help matters much.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 143/9 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah 35, Liton Das 24; Kesrick Williams 4-28, Ashley Nurse 2-6) lost to Windies 93/3 in 9.1 overs (Andre Russell 35*, Marlon Samuels 26; Mustafizur Rahman 2-18) by 7 wickets (on DLS Method).

© Cricbuzz

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