Mustafiz and Mushfiqur Tune Team Tigers into Second Gear
Tri Nation ODI Series
Bangladesh Vs West Indies played at Village Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
Brief Score Card
Bangladesh 248/5 ( Mushfiqur Rahim 82 , Soumya Sarkar 54, Mohammad Mithun 43, Mahmudullah Raid 30*, Shakib Al Hasan 29, Tamim Iqbal 29 AR Nurse 3/53), beat West Indies 247/9 ( Shai Hope 87, Jason Holder 62, Mustafizur Rahman 4/47, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza 3/60) by 5 wickets.
Man of the Match: Mustafizur Rahman
Favorite Bangladesh sprinted to the final of the Tri-nation ODI series punching West Indies twice to the floor. Mysterious Mustafiz, in support of fellow bowlers crafted choking of the free flowing West Indies.
Majestic Mushfiqur smoothened the chase to a below par West Indies set target of 248 in holding on to the winning momentum. West Indies through inconsistent bowling and butter fingers while catching not looking in good shape at all.
With a game to spare Bangladesh and West Indies have set a date for the final of the Tri-nation tournament reducing the host Ireland to spectators.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first West Indies found a very well primed Bangladesh attack making runs hard to come by. Mustafiz found his magic lamp, Mashrafe continued his wicket taking gear, and Shakib and Mehedi tightened the grip on the neck.
Free flowing WI batting appeared lost in quick sand. A score of 247/9 was not going to test resurging Bangladesh. A great team effort ably steered by magical Mushfiqur (63) and Soumya (54) and ably supported by Mithun (43) , Mahmudullah ( 30*), Shakib (29) and Tamim (21) cruised them to second win against West Indies in the tournament with ease and comfort.
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets scoring 248/5 in 47.2 overs. Bangladesh with 10 points in three matches leads the pack. West Indies with two wins against home team would appear in the final with 9 points from 4 matches.
While Bangladesh looking good with momentum, West Indies has lot to bother. Only Shai Hope continued with his prime form with the bat. Middle order and late order batting looking pretty ordinary.
Batsmen struggle against spin attack. Bowling looks ordinary and fielding is atrocious. But this is West Indies. One day they fire in all cylinders, the following day they bite the dust.
Hope Gayle, Lewis, Pooran, Hetmyer and Russel would inject new vive to the team in the World Cup. West Indies might be missing a quality spinner and one or two better all rounder.
West Indies found going far more difficult against diverse bowling attack of Bangladesh than ease and comfort of batting against less penetrative Ireland. Shai Hope in the form of his life was picture perfect though.
Abu Jayed Rahi in his ODI debut however looked lot nervy. Captain Mashrafe struck the first blow removing Sunil Ambris to a good catch of Soumya in the slips.
Mehedi Miraz then chipped in trapping listless Bravo LBW. Mustafiz who could hardly pitch a ball in the right spot in earlier match appeared with his A game. His subtle variation, famous cutter, soon injected venom in Bangladesh attack. Two quick wickets reduced West Indies to 97/4.
However, Hope was looking solid and unnerved. This time Holder was his companion in the resurrection act. But Shakib and Miraz put the leash very effectively. Runs were very difficult to come. Still these two set a foundation with a 100 runs fifth wicket partnership.
Mashrafe in his second spell accounted for Holder and Hope in quick succession taking the air out of West Indies balloon. Mustafiz coming back in the death bowled superbly unleashing his famous slow cutters too often.
West Indies could reach 247/9 in allotted overs. Mustafiz got 4/47. More importantly he has started getting back his sweet touch and usual rhyme. Mashrafe continued his wicket taking ability at the right moment with 3/60. Bangladesh spinners looked miserly as usual.
Watch Soumya sarkar’s catch here-
Shakib (1/27) and Miraz (1/41) putting brakes in the middle overs facilitated death over bowlers restricting the West Indies to below par scores. In their 20 overs spinners managed getting 2 wickets giving away 68 runs. Shakib looked very special.
Bangladesh was not at all challenged in the chase. Inform Soumya was set about the business in usual aggressive mode. His effort was helped by West Indian fielders dropping catches offered. However, him getting his second fifty would ease many nerves in Bangladesh camp and answer many questions. Hope he gets lesson from these two innings. Better teams won’t let off chances he offers from gay cavalier approach.
Tamim and Shakib got into gears but could not get far. Mushfiqur looked solid and Mithun getting a reprieve from a run out opportunity cashed in with a good innings.
Mahmudullah also got some useful batting practice. However none of the top five could carry their bat. In matches against stronger opposition the set batsmen must carry on for assisting in achieving significantly larger scores.
In the end Bangladesh won comfortably by 5 wickets. None but Nurse looked at all impressive with the ball. West Indies dropped as many as 5 catches.
The situation would allow Bangladesh making few experiments with the squad. Saifuddin and Rubel should be given a go. Sabbir got be prompted in the batting order. Can Bangladesh try Taskin with the ball against Ireland?
Winning is a great habit. Great that Bangladesh is on the winning mode. Business as usual should get them through and winning the cup. But we do not think either this West Indies or Ireland are as good as any of WC contestants.