A record double-century partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan paved the way as Bangladesh bounced back from their Test series drubbing with a 48-run win over West Indies in their opening one-day international on Sunday.
Man-of-the-Match Tamim blasted an unbeaten 130, the highest by a Bangladeshi in ODIs against the West Indies, while Shakib weighed in with 97 a second-wicket partnership of 207.
Captain Mashrafe Mortaza then led the way with the ball in taking four for 37 as the hosts were limited to 231 for nine in reply.
“It was important for us to make a strong statement here after the way we played in the Tests,” Mashrafe said after the victory at Guyana’s National Stadium.
“This ground has been a happy one for us over the years and we are looking now to clinch the series in the next match on Wednesday.”
West Indies were on course to seriously challenge the target with Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer at the crease.
However when Gayle was run out for 40 and Hetmyer fell to Mustafizur Rahman for a topscore of 52 the innings went into freefall and an entertaining unbroken last-wicket stand of 59 between Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph merely delayed the inevitable.
Smarting from the annihilation endured over the two Tests, both of which ended inside three days, Bangladesh immediately found the less challenging circumstances of ODI cricket more to their liking.
“For those of us who were involved in the Test series it mattered to us to come out here fighting and I am glad we did that,” Tamim said.
Mushfiqur Rahim also belted 30 off just 11 deliveries and made a significant difference to his side’s innings in the final overs.
His late assault contributed to 43 runs being taken off the last two overs — the most productive ever for Bangladesh in their ODI history — off the bowling of Jason Holder and Andre Russell.
For Holder it represented a turnaround from earlier in the morning, when he removed opening batsman Anamul Haque for a duck in his opening over after Mortaza chose to bat first.
Tamim then found a resolute partner in Shakib as they set about the task of preventing the sort of batting capitulation that was repeatedly evident in the Test matches.
Their cause was assisted considerably by sloppy West Indies catching. Tamim was missed on 17 and 20 while Shakib was let off on 15 and 85. They made the home side pay dearly for those lapses. Shakib’s luck eventually ran out when three runs short of the landmark. Their partnership was the highest for any wicket in ODI’s at Providence.
– ‘Must-win for West Indies –
“We didn’t help ourselves at all with poor work in the field and our death bowling wasn’t the best either,” Holder said. “We need to redouble our efforts and come back for what is now a must-win situation for us.”
Shakib’s dismissal and the swift demise of Sabbir Rahman turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh as Mushfiqur launched into the bowling almost immediately while also stirring Tamim into life.
He struck consecutive sixes off Russell in the last over of the innings although it could not change the fact that his innings – 130 not out off 160 balls with ten fours and three sixes – was the slowest-ever hundred in ODI’s by a Bangladeshi.