Faltering Tigers outclassed by Windies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:40 AM, August 02, 2018

Faltering Tigers outclassed by Windies

Bangladesh's lack of T20I expertise was exposed in sharp detail as they lost the first T20I against World T20 champions West Indies by seven wickets through the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-shortened encounter at Warner Park in St Kitts on Tuesday.

That Bangladesh lost is no surprise because they were up against the world champions and a side much more suited to the shortest format of the game. However, the lack of situational awareness displayed as they lost the first four wickets for just 43 runs in the Powerplay does not bode well for the next two matches in Florida on August 4 and 5.

The Tigers stuttered to a below-par 143 for nine and after an hour-long rain interruption during the change of innings, West Indies' target was reduced to 91 from 11 overs. Despite an excellent double-wicket maiden from Mustafizur Rahman -- only the second by a Bangladesh bowler in T20Is -- in the second over of the chase, West Indies rode on their big-hitting pedigree and reached the target with 11 balls to spare.

After Mustafizur dismissed openers Evin Lewis and Andre Fletcher with the score on 10, Marlon Samuels (28 off 13) and Andre Russell (35 not out off 21) put on a blistering 42-run partnership in just 3.4 overs. Samuels was caught off Rubel Hossain at long on with the score on 52, but that only seemed to liberate Russell further.

It speaks to the difference between the two sides that while Bangladesh hit just the two sixes -- both off Mahmudullah Riyad's bat -- West Indies hit eight in less than half the overs, with Powell finishing the match with a maximum over long on off Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan.

Earlier, the start was delayed by half an hour because of a passing shower after Carlos Brathwaite won the toss and chose to field first. But instead of cashing in on a good batting wicket that had a bit of pace, opener Tamim Iqbal became the first batsman to be out stumped off the first ball of a T20I innings off the bowling of Ashley Nurse. Tamim, the player-of-the-series in the just-concluded ODI series with two centuries and a fifty, inexplicably chose to charge down the track against an off-spinner without even waiting a single delivery to see how the pitch played.

Soumya Sarkar played back to a half-volley in the same over to have his stumps splayed for the second golden duck of the innings. Tamim's over-aggression seemed to have set the tone as both Shakib and number three batsman Liton Das went hell for leather, missing almost as many deliveries as they hit in a frantic 4.4 overs that saw 38 runs added. Having lived by the sword, Liton eventually fell upon it when he tried one slog too many in the sixth over, top-edging a Keemo Paul delivery to square leg for 24.

Shakib, having reached 19 off nine balls, ramped a bouncer off the very next ball high towards the third man fence, where Kesrick Williams caught the ball, threw it back just before his feet went over the ropes and leapt back to complete a superb catch.

It was then up to the experienced and calmer pair of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad to repair the damage. They did that to an extent with a 47-run partnership in just four overs, during which Mahmudullah displayed his dual abilities as a hard hitter and a deft placer. He hit two fours and a massive six off leg-spinner Samuel Badree in the seventh over -- his shots differing from the crazed desperation of his predecessors and instead relying on his ability to find gaps all over the ground. 

It seemed for a while that Mushfiqur would also cash in, hitting a trademark scoop over the keeper's head in the ninth over from Brathwaite and a ramped four that almost carried over the third man boundary in the next over from Williams. However, he failed to notice that third man was moved finer and hit a similar shot down his throat in the next ball for an 11-ball 15.

Ariful Haque then put on 26 runs with Mahmudullah, but only served to ramp up the pressure on the team's top scorer by taking 18 balls for his 15 and then being bowled by Russell in the 15th over. From 116 for six, there was too much to do for Mahmudullah and he was eventually bowled by slower delivery from Williams in the beginning of the 17th over to depart with the score on 125 for seven.

Bangladesh could add only 18 more runs as they scored just 22 runs for the loss of three wickets in the last five overs, with Williams ending with career-best figures of four for 28. 

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