Half-centuries from openers Tamim Iqbal and Saumya Sarkar were at the forefront of Bangladesh’s crushing eight-wicket win over West Indies as the Tigers opened their ODI tri-series campaign at Dublin in some style.
Despite a second consecutive ODI ton from Shai Hope, West Indies could only post 261-9 in their 50 overs after choosing to bat first.
In reply, Bangladesh cantered to victory after a 144-run opening stand between Tamim and Sarkar which completely deflated the Windies bowling unit.
It was a contrasting display from both openers with Tamim choosing to approach the chase in circumspect fashion while Sarkar took the attack to Windies’ bowlers.
Sarkar scored his 73 runs off just 68 deliveries while Tamim took as many as 116 balls for his 80. Chase provided West Indies with the much-needed breakthrough by ending Sarkar’s stay at the crease before Tamim perished to the bowling of Shannon Gabriel.
However, there would be no dramatic collapse from Bangladesh with Shakib Al Hasan registering a fluent fifty to ease the side to a thumping eight-wicket win.
Earlier, newly appointed ODI vice-captain Shai Hope slammed a second consecutive ton to give West Indies an excellent start with the bat at Dublin.
Hope and fellow opener Sunil Ambris added 89 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Bangladesh struck again almost immediately with Shakib Al Hasan sending back Darren Bravo but Windies were in control once again following another vital stand between Hope and Roston Chase.
The two batsmen forged a 115-run partnership with Chase bringing up a superb half-century. Both the set batsmen were eventually dismissed in quick succession by Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza with West Indies losing their way in the death overs from a strong position of 205-2.
Bangladesh’s bowlers, especially Mortaza and Mohammad Saifuddin, were excellent in the final nine overs or so with Windies suffering a late batting collapse.
Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman picked up two wickets but had an expensive outing with his 10 overs going for 84 runs. Mortaza was the pick of Bangladesh bowlers with the captain claiming three wickets in a tidy display.
West Indies: 261-9
Shai Hope: 109 (132)
Mashrafe Mortaza: 3-49
Tamim Iqbal: 80 (116)
Saumya Sarkar: 73 (68)
Shakib Al Hasan: 61 not out (61)
The 39-year-old opening batsman last held a Windies’ leadership role in 2010 when he captained the ODI squad and he will now serve as deputy to skipper Jason Holder in the World Cup.
Gayle has earlier announced his intentions to retire from international cricket post the culmination of the 2019 World Cup.
“It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special,” the left-hander said on his appointment.
“As a senior player it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team.
“This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies.”
#WINews: @shaidhope and @henrygayle have been named Vice Captains of the West Indies team for Ireland Tri-Nation Series and ICC Cricket World Cup, respectively 🌴🏏— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) May 6, 2019
Read more: https://t.co/D6L15I8a5D pic.twitter.com/rAdqlhRdZD
While Gayle will deputise in the World Cup, young wicketkeeper batsman Shai Hope has been named as the side’s vice-captain for the ongoing ODI tri-series in Ireland.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be appointed vice captain for this series here in Ireland,” said Hope.
“Ahead of this tournament I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I’m asked to do for West Indies cricket I’m always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great,” he added.
Windies had earlier opened their tri-series campaign against Ireland on Sunday with a 196-run win and are in action again on Tuesday against Bangladesh.
The Caribbean side will open their 2019 World Cup campaign on May 31 when they take on Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
All-rounder Chris Morris has been drafted into South Africa‘s 15-man World Cup squad following a hand injury to fast bowler Anrich Nortje.
Nortje is facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines, ruling him out of the global 50-over competition in England and Wales this summer, after fracturing his thumb during net practice.
Morris earned the last of his 34 one-day international caps in February last year but his ability to star with both ball and bat has seen him called up as Nortje’s replacement.
Cricket South Africa national selection panel convener Linda Zondi said: “Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball.
“He has the pace and death-bowling skills which will be vital in the UK, and also gives us that depth as a deadly finisher with the bat.
“Admittedly, the injuries ahead of the tournament have been frustrating but I continue to have confidence that the players we have selected will make the country proud.”