Bangladesh pipped the Windies by 18 runs in a high-scoring final one-day international to take the three-match series 2-1.
He had started the series with an unbeaten 130, which was a relatively slower innings than in the second ODI, where he batted till the end of the 25th over to score 54 off 85 deliveries in a losing cause.
The performances, coming as they did after a horror Test series where his team totalled 43, 144, 149 and 168 as they lost 2-0, satisfied Iqbal.
‘We didn’t have a great Test series, so we practiced a lot. But this is a format we are comfortable in. What I wanted to do was bat long. My team asked me to bat long, so I did it successfully. The wickets in the West Indies are never easy, but you have to be patient here. Patience is the key and that’s why I got the big runs,’ said Iqbal, the Player of the Match and the Player of the Series,’ said Iqbal.
On the day, in Basseterre, Bangladesh first scored 301-6, Shakib Al Hasan (37), Mahmudullah (67 not out) and Mashrafe Mortaza (36) helping Iqbal with the runs, while the bowlers did enough to restrict the Windies to 283-6. Mortaza was the best of the bowlers, returning 2-63, his victims being Evin Lewis and Shai Hope.
‘Cricket is a mental game. The boys stepped up from the first ODI, but we played well for the most part of the game even when we lost in match two,’ said Mortaza, who had picked up four wickets in the first ODI in the series.
From the Windies’ point of view, there was no let-up in intensity. Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse conceded runs at below the match rate while picking up two wickets apiece, and when it came time to bat, Chris Gayle was strong at the top with a 66-ball 73. Hope scored his 64 off 94 balls, while Rovman Powell blitzed away later on with an undefeated 74 off just 41 balls.
‘We struggled to put together a complete game; 300 was a par score here and the bowlers did pretty well, but we didn’t bat well in the middle overs. We lost momentum in the middle, but credit to Gayle and Rovman for giving us a chance, but we just weren’t able to tick over the scoreboard,’ said Holder.
Hope might have eaten up a few balls too many and, looking at how things ended, Powell could well have made a difference if he had a few more deliveries to face, which was something Holder pointed to.
The Windies won the Tests 2-0 and Bangladesh has taken the ODIs 2-1. Next up is the Twenty20 Internationals. The first will be played in Basseterre, on Tuesday, 31 July, before the teams travel to Lauderhill in Florida for the second and third games.
‘The boys are in good touch, the juniors need to step up too. The bowlers were good in all three games, and now we need to start the T20s confidently. West Indies are a great T20I team,’ stressed Mortaza.
One of the most unplayable deliveries in the history of ODI cricket. West Indies opening bowler Sheldon Cottrell gave Bangladesh's opening batsman Anamul Haque no chance with the fourth ball of the third ODI between the teams. Cottrell conceded one run for a no ball for the delivery, which second slip Ashley Nurse gathered in like a quarterback. Anamul had a free hit as the ball had to be rebowled and he skied a hook to fine leg where the catch was held but the batsmen were able to take a single. The series is currently level 1-1. Footage: Supersport @westindiescricketteam @bangladeshtigers #cricket #wide #noball #widenoball #westindies #bangladesh #outofcontrol #supersport @supersporttv
Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images