Dhaka, July 23 (Just News): A 48-run win in the first ODI took Bangladesh out of the hopeless pit they had dug themselves into during the Test series, and it took the combined effort of four senior players to pull them out.
Tamim Iqbal's 10th ODI hundred and his 207-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan (97), and Mushfiqur Rahim's end-overs sixes raised their highest total on tour, 279 for 4 in 50 overs, after electing to bat.
Mashrafe Mortaza, who nearly didn't tour because of his ill wife, provided the perfect follow-up, taking four wickets and making a statement with his thunderous leadership to give the visitors some joy four weeks into what has been a horror tour.
West Indies were in it till the 35th over, but spectacularly unravelled. Needing 140 from the last 15 overs with six wickets in hand, they eventually finished with 231 for 9, with the last wicket pair of Alzarri Joseph and Devendra Bishoo adding an unbroken half-century stand to delay the inevitable. Shimron Hetmyer's 52 was the highest of the innings.
The turning point was the show by Bangladesh's seniors. Tamim and Shakib, who promoted himself to No. 3, put together their highest-ever partnership, beating their previous best of 144, achieved against Sri Lanka. This helped Bangladesh set up a strong platform, even if there were times where they could have looked to score a touch faster.
From the second over till the 35th, Tamim and Shakib batted at a run rate of 4.7 for 33.3 overs. They took almost seven overs to find the first boundary, but then showed awareness of the conditions to play tactfully. During this period, both Tamim and Shakib reached fifties amid four dropped chances. But after Shakib struck Jason Holder for two fours in the 35th over, Bangladesh went through the next 10 overs without a single boundary.
They put together Bangladesh's only second 200-plus ODI partnership, apart from setting the record highest partnership at the Providence Stadium, against West Indies overall. When Mushfiqur carved three fours and two sixes in his 11-ball 30, it gave the innings the end-overs impetus.
The West Indies quicks leaked 53 runs in the last three overs. Andre Russell, playing his first ODI after nearly three years, conceded 31 in two of the last three, while Holder went for 22 in the 49th. West Indies, however, would be disappointed with the five dropped chances: Gayle putting down thrice, Ashley Nurse and Hetmyer put down one each.
West Indies' reply kick-started with Evin Lewis' pulled six in the third over, but he didn't last long. Gayle was next to go, left stranded by Hetmyer after an uncharacteristic 40 off 60 balls where he surprisingly wasn't averse to taking singles and rotating the strike. His knock featured a four and couple of straight sixes, but the Bangladesh bowlers held him back. Gayle also survived a plumb lbw shout as Bangladesh decided not to take the review, which would have ended his innings on 18.
Jason Mohammed couldn't withstand the pressure by spin; he was Mehidy Hasan's only wicket in his impressive 10 overs. Hetmyer, upon reaching fifty, got caught at cover trying to drive Mustafizur Rahman in the 36th over, before Rovman Powell edged an away-swinger for a first-ball duck. This proved to be the gamechanger.