Shai Hope smashed a record half-century and Sheldon Cottrell claimed four wickets as West Indies surged to an eight-wicket win in the first T20I over Bangladesh.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat, but their innings got off to a disastrous start with all of their top three falling for single figure scores in similar fashion. Each of Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, and Soumya Sarkar top-edged pull shots and were caught, with two falling to Cottrell, and one to Oshane Thomas.
Mushfiqur Rahim was then run out to further the home side’s plight, but Shakib Al Hasan helped repair the early damage, striking a 43-ball 61. He displayed a fluency far outstripping his team-mates, striking 10 boundaries compared to just seven managed by the rest of Bangladesh’s batsmen combined.
He did however receive solid support from Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque, who each reached double figures and helped Bangladesh past three figures. With Shakib still at the crease, the Asian side might have hoped to reach 150, but when he fell – the fourth to fall to the short ball, and the fourth to Cottrell - Bangladesh subsided soon after for 129 in 19 overs.
Still, even 150 would likely have been far from adequate considering Shai Hope’s blistering form. It’s rare that Evin Lewis, who made 18 on his T20I return, is reduced to a supporting role, but this time he was, and by the time he holed out to long-on, West Indies already had 51 on the board.
Hope powered on to a 16-ball half-century, the fastest by a West Indian in men’s T20Is, smashing six sixes and three fours on his way to the landmark. Windies had made 91/1 from the powerplay, the joint highest total from the opening six overs of a T20I. He fell soon after but the back of the chase had been broken, and Keemo Paul and Nicholas Pooran saw West Indies home with more than nine overs remaining.
The series continues on 20 December at Dhaka.
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