Image courtesy of: Cricket West Indies
Bangladesh opener Liton Das smashed a career-best 61 to lead his side to a 19-run win over the West Indies via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, and a 2-1 series win as well.
Choosing to bat first, Bangladesh came out firing on all cylinders as Liton and Tamim Iqbal amassed a 61-run partnership in under five overs before Tamim was dismissed by West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite for 21.
Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim fell shortly after, while Liton went on to score a 32-ball 61, which included six boundaries and three sixes, before he was sent packing by Kesrick Williams.
With skipper Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque making useful contributions of 24, 32 not out and 18 not out respectively towards the end of the innings, Bangladesh finished on 184/5 off their 20 overs.
Brathwaite and Keemo Paul picked up two wickets apiece, while Williams chipped in with one.
Chasing 185 to win, the West Indies made a poor start to their innings as Andre Fletcher, Chadwick Walton and Marlon Samuels were all dismissed in quick succession.
Denesh Ramdin and Rovman Powell managed to halt Bangladesh’s charge with a 45-run partnership before Ramdin was clean bowled by Rubel Hossain for 21.
Powell went on to score 23 before he was removed by Mustafizur Rahman.
Brathwaite failed to have an impact with the bat as he was removed by Abu Hider for five runs.
With the West Indies struggling, Andre Russell began to up the ante as the rain began to fall.
With Russell taking the attack to Bangladesh’s bowlers, the West Indies still had a chance to win the match. However, disaster struck on the first ball of the 18th over as Russell was caught by Ariful off the bowling of Mustafizur for a 21-ball 47, which included a boundary and six sixes.
As soon as Russell was gone, the rain became heavier and the players were subsequently ushered off the field with the West Indies on 135/7.
Since it refused to relent, Bangladesh were declared the winners as the West Indies needed to be on 155 after 17.1 overs according to the DLS method.
Mustafizur was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Hider, Rubel, Sarkar and Shakib claimed one wicket each.
Brathwaite was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Even at the back end needing 30 or 40 in the last three, we could have won the game. We didn’t keep enough wickets in hand, but kudos to the bowlers. To restrict them to 185 was incredible. We can always say we could have done this differently or bowled this ball differently, but sometimes as a captain, you just got to give credit to the opposition.
“Ashley Nurse was fantastic. We need to be more sure of our plans. Going away to Bangladesh and India now, it will be even more important to execute. Until then, we will head to the CPL, where most of the guys are trying to find their method.”
Shakib, who was named Man of the Series, was thrilled to have won the series, and said: “Unbelievable effort from the boys. After losing the first game, we showed a lot of character. Everybody believed we could come back. We were facing the world champions, and we showed great character. I think I was batting well throughout the series. I was hitting the ball well, which also helped me bowl well and captain well.
“Even the guys not playing put their heart into it and tried to help in whatever way they could. Couldn’t have asked for anything more. We have been doing well in ODIs for the last 3-4 years, since the 2015 World Cup. This T20 series win now gives us the confidence that we can perform well in T20s as well. We now need to work on Test cricket. We are already doing well at home, now we need to go outside home and start winning Test matches. We never felt like we were away from home thanks to the fans. They were like the 12th man.”
Liton was named Man of the Match, and said: “It is definitely a big win for our team. They are a very good team… they are the world champions. The pitch was similar to the surface on our country. This is my first fifty and I’m lucky.”