Bangladesh eclipse the World Champions

Bangladesh Vs West Indies T20I Series
Third Match played at Lauderhill Florida USA
Bangladesh 184/5 (Litton 61, Mahmudullah 32*, Shakib 24, Tamim 21, Ariful 18* , K Paul 2/26 , C Brathwaite 2/32 ) beat West Indies 135/7 in 17.1 Overs ( A Russell 47, R Powell 23, D Ramdin 21, Mustafiz 3/35 ) by 19 runs in D/L method

Bangladesh Won the Series 2-1
Man of the Match: Litton K Das
Man of the Series: Shakib Al Hasan

Bangladesh eclipse the World Champions

Cricket glorified Bangladesh yet again. Bangladesh won the series decider third match against powerful West Indies by 19 runs on D/L method when rain interrupted with West Indies at 135/7 in 17.1 over responding to Bangladesh score of 184/5. Bangladesh won the series 2-1.

Also Read - Shakib, Tamim, Litton relish better ranking spots

West Indies floored Bangladesh beating them hollow in two Test series. Shoulders were dropping and morale was at low ebb. Came there, their favored ODI format. Inspiring leader Mashrafe injected fresh vigor.

Bangladesh brilliantly turned around. Bangladesh Won the ODI series 2-1. With a little bit of luck it could be 3-0. The real challenge was T20I series as West Indies is now current World champion in this format.

The happy go merry West Indies love to play power cricket and Bangladesh is feeling its feet in T20 international. They even were white washed in that format by the rookies Afghanistan in not too distant past.

Bangladesh lost the first of the three matches played at St Kitts by 7 wickets. The match was rain interrupted. Bangladeshi batted imploded and batting first they could master only 149. The revised target in rain ruined match was 91 in 11 overs.

West Indies cruised to victory losing only 3 wickets. Bangladesh were to play the second and third matches in Florida USA for the first time. Adoring Bangladeshi fans assembling from different states of USA and even from Canada and made Lauderhill a home away from home for Bangladesh.

The Tigers looked hungry and angry. They should strongly resolve and their insatiable thirst for win, they won the second and third match playing brilliant aggressive cricket and won their second T20I series on abroad. The first series was won against Ireland in 2002.

Bangladesh started the tour of West Indies disastrously getting comprehensively white washed in two Tests. Just imagine that this very team in the first innings of the first Test was crushed to 43 all out in only 18.3 overs. In none of the four innings of two Tests, Bangladesh could not bat even 50 overs.

That team bounced back in their favorite ODI format when the much required spark was given by Mashrafe. The attitude of the team completely changed. The winning mode returned. The can do attitude gave the entire team self believe.

The last match became the virtual final as the series was level 1-1 after the second match. The wicket was easy paced and ball was coming easily at the bat. Winning the toss, Shakib opted to bat. Changed Bangladesh was in killing mood right from the start.

From the moment Litton sent the first full ball to the square leg boundary the intention was very clear. He and Tamim blasted West Indian bowlers all over the park. Badree, Nurse and Russel were blasted along the carpet, across and over in rapid frequency.

Litton was looking prolific. Bangladesh raced to their fastest T20 half century in only 3.4 overs. Before Tamim got out, the first wicket partnership produced 62 in only 4.4 overs. West Indies had their back to the wall.

Litton went on scoring 61 in only 32 deliveries. His power packed innings included 6 fours and three mighty sixes.

West Indies’ captain was heard screaming, “Come on Boys, wake up and play some cricket.”

However, West Indies could strike back removing Mushfiqur and Soumya in quick succession. Soumya could hardly get going. His poor foot work and questionable technique of playing away from the body again brought his down fall.

Mushfiqur got out trying to steer the ball through the slips. The innings looked stuttering at 102/4 when Shakib, joined by Mahmudullah in the 11 the over. Two senior pros kept the momentum going adding 44 in quick time.

Shakib got out. But by that time, courtesy to Litton-Tamim blitz early on, Bangladesh were well placed at 149/5. Rain interrupted for a while. When play started, Mahmudullah and Ariful added another 38 runs in the unbroken 6th wicket partnership posting a very competitive 184/5.

It is Ok Bangladesh won eventually but from a very solid foundation Bangladesh should have scored 200 plus at least. On other day against even rampaging West Indies this score may prove inadequate.

Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 32 and Ariful on 18. Young Ariful is slowly and steadily getting to his gear. West Indian bowlers did well to restrict Bangladesh to 184 /5 after getting almost swept away in the first power play.

But some how or other, West Indies’ body language appeared a little bit sluggish. Bowling looked ragged when Litton and Tamim had planned all guns blazing attack on them

West Indies innings never got going. Mustafiz, Soumya and Shakib struck blows in the fourth, fifth and sixth overs removing Fletcher, Walton and Samuels. West Indies were reduced to 32/3 at the end of the first power play.

Shakib himself has bowled to his prime form throughout the T20I series and all his bowlers delivered. Mustafiz was special wicket taking bowler in the series. West Indies was already in the back foot. Ramdin and Powell resurrected the innings to some extent.

Watch the video of Bangladesh celebrates their victory by singing a song in dressing room here-

But they fell behind increasingly in the asking rate. Rubel and Mustafiz in the middle overs struck two vital blows once again removing Ramdin and Power. At 96/5 in the 14th, it became a tall task already for West Indies.

But free stroking Russell was still there. His fluent stroke play especially boundary hitting created tensions in the tiger camp again. Desperate Shakib brought back his ace striker Mustafiz and he delivered removing dangerous looking Russel caught in the deep.

West Indies was 135/7 when Russell got out. In came the rain again and the match was called off. In D/L method West Indies was 19 runs behind. Bangladesh deservedly won the match and the series 2-1.

Through out the series the senior players Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah contributed massively. Litton delivered one of the most entertaining innings in the final match. Bangladesh still needs to sort out number three slot.

By the look of it, neither Shakib nor Mushfiqur suits there. Soyma’s awful form got extended. Sabbir was not there. Mahmudullah is great at late middle order. Ariful is getting tuned. Bangladesh must know how to pace the innings from first over till the last.

Bowling department seems to be blooming. Mustafiz is getting back to his wicket taking mode, Rubel proved to be his ideal foil. Rony will mature with experience. Our pacers must continue taking wickets for winning matches in all formats. Especially in T20I and ODI, this will matter.

Shakib, after a while, consistently produced his world class all round performance. Unfortunately Nazmul Opu got injured. He bowled well. So did Mehedi Miraz. Hope Bangladesh would look for at least two more top order batsmen of quality and a wrist spinner. All great teams have quality leg spinners now. Whether it is Test, ODI and T20I, leg spinners can turn any match.

Shakib was rightly adjudged Man of the series for his brilliant all round performance.

We really liked the body language and commitments of the team in ODI and T20Is after their shoulders were constantly dropping in the Test series. Hope this momentum would continue. Asia Cup will have four very strong oppositions India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Hope Bangladesh eye for the top honor which has so far eluded them.

Watch and enjoy the celebration moment of Bangladesh here-

Even after disaster against Afghanistan and disgraceful Test series white wash, adoring fans believed that Bangladesh would turn around. Required someone to rock and roll them. That was provided by their charismatic ODI captain Mashrafe.

They got the floor mat rediscovered their winning caps and looked all together a different unit willing to win. Wins in ODI and T20I series against strong West Indies back to back has brought back joy to all Bangladeshis in a critical moment of national life.

We know success breeds success. The West Indies tour started in disaster. But ended in delight. Again it was proved that “Morning Does Not Always Show the Day.” Bangladesh must demonstrate consistency not complacency.

The next assignment is Asia Cup in UAE where the Team Tigers would find India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Bangladesh can seriously plan for winning the Asia cup which eluded them so far.

Saleque Sufi

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