West Indies capped a great series with a memorable win in Dhaka as they held off a fighting Bangladesh to secure a 17-run victory and sweep the series 2-0.
Given the state of the side – depleted, without their regular captain and senior players – the victory will rank as one of their best in recent years. It came after regulation time was extended, and despite Mehidy Hasan bravely, and briefly, raising hopes of a Bangladesh win.
In all, as many as 17 wickets fell on the day, with West Indies being bundled out for 117 in their second innings, setting Bangladesh a target of 231. Rahkeem Cornwall’s 4/105 along with three wickets each from Jomel Warrican and captain Kraigg Brathwaite, helped West Indies bowl out the home side in the nick of time.
The day began with West Indies resuming on 41/3, hoping to extend their significant lead and take the game out of Bangladesh’s reach. However, the home spinners were determined to avoid that eventuality, and Taijul Islam led the way as the visitors were bowled out for a paltry 117.
It meant Bangladesh had a seemingly achievable target of 231, especially following the opening stand between Tamim and Soumya Sarkar – who put on 59 runs, with Tamim racing away to a half-century at more than a run a ball. His hitting frustrated West Indies, but the part-time spin of Brathwaite broke the stand and removed both openers.
When Sarkar fell to Brathwaite, nicking one off the pads to slip, West Indies had the much-needed breakthrough. It triggered a slide they never really recovered from, with Tamim falling shortly after scoring 50, pinging Brathwaite straight to short cover.
Thereafter, the wickets came regularly, despite the batsmen getting starts. Cornwall was in the thick of things, dismissing No. 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto in the 22nd over, before running through the tail. However, for a while, captain Mominul Haque resisted, putting on mini partnerships with Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun and Liton Das.
It was his stand with Das that most frustrated West Indies, as it added 32 crucial runs to the total, revived Bangladesh from a slide, and pushed them closer to the target. It was broken, however, by Warrican, in the 42nd over, and Cornwall then had Das removed three overs later to put West Indies in the driver’s seat.
The wickets then came quickly, but Mehidy Hasan provided staunch resistance. He farmed the strike, and scored a 56-ball 31 to raise Bangladesh hopes and take them to the verge of victory, even smashing two sixes. However, with the hosts still needing 17 to win, he edged one from Warrican and Cornwall took a blinder at slip to seal a famous win for West Indies.
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