A second consecutive ton from Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh thrash Windies by seven wickets in a high-scoring World Cup clash at Taunton.
Shakib’s unbeaten 124 off just 99 deliveries took centre stage as Bangladesh equalled their highest successful ODI run chase to bag their second win of the tournament.
Chasing a daunting target of 322, the Tigers were given a flying start by openers Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal who added 52 runs in no time. Sarkar was dismissed by Andre Russell but Tamim continued to march on in the company of Shakib.
The two added a quick-fire 69 for the second wicket before Tamim (48) was run-out through an excellent piece of work by Sheldon Cottrell off his own bowling. Despite Mushfiqur Rahim falling shortly after, Windies were given no respite with Shakib going on the rampage.
The left-hander pulled and cut with venom in a belligerent innings and found able support from an equally explosive Liton Das, who chipped in with a brisk 98 (70). Their unbeaten quick-fire stand of 189 saw Bangladesh romp home with as many as 51 deliveries to spare.
Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s decision to field first was immediately justified by pacer Mohammad Saifuddin who found the outside edge of Chris Gayle to dismiss the veteran for a duck.
Windies recovered from that horror start through a 116-run stand between Evin Lewis and Shai Hope with the former going on to register his first half-century of the tournament.
Lewis was dismissed by Shakib on 70 but West Indies continued to stay on the front foot with Hope holding down one end. The wicket-keeper batsman continued to build on his excellent record against Bangladesh by forging valuable stands with Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer.
Hetmyer, in particular, was in his element on Monday with the left-hander racing away to a 25-ball half century with the help of three sixes and four boundaries. His explosive stay was ended by Mustafizur Rahman, who dismissed Russell for a duck moments later.
Hope was looking good for a century but he was agonisingly dismissed on 96 by Mustafizur as Bangladesh hit back in the death overs. Lower order cameos from Jason Holder and Darren Bravo helped the Windies ultimately post 321-8.
One-dimensional Windies pay the price
It seems West Indies have only one bowling plan at the World Cup and that is to ball short and fast. It worked for them against Pakistan in the campaign opener but its effectiveness has been decreasing ever since.
At Taunton, Windies elected to go with an all-out pace attack with no spinner and paid the price on a pitch with true bounce. Bangladesh’s batsmen were prepared for the barrage of bouncers and feasted on the shorter deliveries bowled by the pacers. Even the top-edges were flying for sixes on a ground with small boundaries.
It was all too predictable from the Windies bowling attack and their problems were only compounded by a limping Russell, who struggled to get through his quota of 10 overs.
A spinner like Ashley Nurse could have been a handy option to have for the Caribbean side but their one-dimensional approach now sees their semi-final hopes hang by a bare thread.
Shakib Al Hasan
It is some tournament that the Bangladesh star all-rounder is having. Shakib was the architect of the Tigers’ win on Monday with the 32-year-old chipping in with the ball as well as the bat.
He picked up two important wickets of Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran with his left-arm orthodox spin before following it up with a with the bat. It was the fourth fifty-plus score by the southpaw in the World Cup in as many matches and he is going some way in justifying his No1 ODI all-rounder tag.
Shakib cut and pulled with aplomb against the Windies pacers who continued to bang in short and looked in supreme touch throughout his stay at the crease. Bringing up his century off just 82 balls, the all-rounder looked determined to see Bangladesh across the finish line himself
He has now gone past Australia skipper Aaron Finch as the tournament’s leading run-scorer and looks to be in the mood for many more.
Shakib completes rare double in record time
During the course of his innings, Shakib brought up 6,000 ODI runs for Bangladesh and etched his name into the record books in the process.
The left-hander has now taken the least amount of matches (202) to bring up the double of 6,000 runs and 250 wickets, destroying the record previously set by Pakistan great Shahid Afridi who achieved the feat in 294 games.
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