Bangladesh bounced back to defeat the West Indies in a thrilling contest at Lauderhill.
Rovman Powell hit balls four and five off the 14th over (bowled by Abu Hider) for six to take the West Indies to 110-4, leaving a tantalising finish in store – 62 needed off 36 balls. Eleven runs followed off the next over, although it also saw Andre Fletcher depart after a well played 43 off 38 balls.
Mustafizur Rahman bowled the 16th over and kept it tight until the last ball, which Carlos Brathwaite swung for six over wide long on. With nine coming from the over, the race was still hot, with 42 needed off 24 balls.
Over 17 from Shakib Al Hasan was the clincher, as he removed Brathwaite thanks to a spectacular catch at wide long on by Liton Das. The bowler restricted Powell to just one run off the next three balls, the crucial over costing only three runs and helping to push the required rate up to 13 an over.
Over 18 went for eight runs as the required rate spiked to 15.50.
Powell and Ashley Nurse did their best to stay in the game, taking 16 runs off Mustafizur Rahman’s next over, including two fours and a six, but the loss of Powell for 43 off 34 balls – with three fours and two sixes – was the final nail in the coffin for the home side.
With the West Indies on 157-7 and needing 15 off the last over, the odds were stacked high against them, and Nazmul Islam closed things off beautifully, taking two wickets for just two runs as the West Indies swung desperately at each delivery. Islam finished with figures of 3-28 (econ 7.00) as Bangladesh claimed their first T20I victory after a run of five straight losses.
Al Hasan was excellent with the ball for Bangladesh, taking 2-19 (econ 4.75), backed up by Hider 0-26 (econ 6.50), while Rahman’s three wickets were somewhat expensive, costing 50 runs at 12.50 per over.
Batting first, Bangladesh had struggled to take control of the innings and were 48-3 inside the eighth over, before Tamim Iqbal joined forces with his captain, Al Hasan, to share a 90-run partnership in 8.2 overs. Iqbal scored 74 off 44 balls (S/R 168.18, 6×4, 4×6) to help his side to what proved to be a winning total of 171-5, and earned him the Player of the Match accolade on the back of scores of 103, 54 and 130 not out against the West Indies during the recent ODI series.
Al Hasan’s contribution with the bat was equally powerful, the captain smashing 60 off 38 balls (9×4, 1×6, S/R 157.89).
Nurse was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, taking 2-25 (econ 6.25) as the series sits level on 1-1 ahead of Monday’s decider.
‘I think the belief did it for us, after the loss in St Kitts,’ said Al Hasan. ‘We had a good chat, had come to an agreement that we could beat this West Indies side. The mindset changed the momentum. The crowd support was a massive factor, we never felt like we played away from home. It felt like playing in Bangladesh. Hider and all the bowlers were brilliant, Fizz went for a few runs but picked crucial wickets. Great team effort, all in all.’
Said Iqbal: ‘In St Kitts, the shot I played to get out, I thought it was on. Today, I gave myself time early on and then cashed in. Shakib played an unbelievable innings – took a lot of pressure off me. He was looking good right from the time he came in. His early boundaries got us up and running. I love the pitch here, my first time in Florida.’
‘I thought the decision was right – we got a few wickets, put them under pressure,’ said Brathwaite. ‘But we were casual in the field and that’s where the game turned. I still have full confidence in bouncing back. Casual fielding cost us. I don’t know if I will be fine if I say this, but Ramdin’s DRS call was questionable. He is our glue. These things happen. Somedays, you have bad days with the bat but we shouldn’t have been chasing down those many. As long as the attitude is the same as the first game, we’ll be confident of winning.’
Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images