Smart cricket was found nowhere in Bangladesh’s approach as West Indies bounced back in the series with a comfortable 40-run victory in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
On a batting track, the home side’s bowling attack that included the slow bowlers, the main weapon of the Tigers in these conditions, was pretty ordinary. The fielding was sluggish too which helped the visitors take the game away from Mushfiqur Rahim’s men as they amassed 298 runs for four wickets after being sent into bat.
In response to the mammoth target, the Tigers’ batting lacked intent and only the immediate-past captain Shakib Al Hasan showed some character and came up with the only smart effort in the entire match during his unbeaten 58-ball 67.
Captain Mushfiqur however virtually put aside all the shortcomings in the match, expressing his disappointment over the unfavourable pitch.
“Our main strength is our slow bowlers, especially in our home conditions, but unfortunately the pitch was not like the T20 match. The spinners didn’t get any turn on it. It was a batting paradise. Our spinners always get extra advantage here but it was not the case today,” he said in the post-match briefing.
This kind of conditions desperately called for a disciplined bowling effort but the local bowlers lacked the sting and they also failed to bowl in the right channel and their fielding was also disappointing.
“We made a lot of mistakes in our fielding too but you know it was very hot out there. Our spinners didn’t get any assistance from the wicket. On the other hand as per our expectation we also didn’t get any early breakthrough from the pacers which made the things difficult for us and our slow bowlers also got frustrated as they didn’t get any help from it,” he added.
The young Bangladesh skipper however praised the West Indies batting. Lendl Simmons, who led the Caribbean innings with his maiden hundred, along with Adrian Barath made a slow but steady start to give their team a solid foundation. They took time to adjust with the condition which helped them to put up a challenging total on the board. Simmons slammed a 124-ball 122 while Marlon Samuels continued his good form with yet another well-paced half-century (71 off 78 balls) and the dashing Kieron Pollard hit a quickfire 25-ball 41 that saw three sixes and two fours.
“In this kind of wicket it was easy for the West Indies batsmen to score runs but I must praise their good effort. They really batted well in this condition and their bowling was also good,” Mushfiqur praised the West Indies batting.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also defended his decision of fielding first after winning the toss.
“You know naturally this wicket initially remains dry and in the latter part of the innings the dew becomes a factor. That’s why we took the decision of fielding first but unfortunately the ball was coming on to the bat very well,” he explained.
There was hardly anyone who believed that Bangladesh could chase down this big total but Mushfiqur said that it might have been possible if someone from the top-order could convert their innings into a big one.
“It was a very good batting wicket but we could not apply ourselves properly. If someone like Imrul [Kayes] or Naeem [Islam] from the top-order could carry their innings to the end, it might been possible for us to chase down the total,” said Mushfiqur.
-With The Daily Star input