Windies beaten by eight wickets in final ODI
Another inept batting display sent erratic West Indies to a two-wicket defeat in the final One-Day International, gifting Bangladesh a morale-boosting 3-2 win in the five-match series that ended yesterday.
Not for the first time in the series, the highly vaunted West Indies batting lineup struggled against Bangladesh's varied attack at the Shere Bangla National Stadium and stumbled to a disappointing 217 all out off 48 overs.
Big-hitting Kieron Pollard emerged from a slump to slam 85 and stylish left-hander Darren Bravo got 51, providing the impetus for West Indies, but the remainder of the batting flopped spectacularly.
Seamer Shafiul Islam, in for his first game of the series and first ODI in nearly a year, finished with three for 31, while left-arm spinner Mominul Haque (two for 14) and off-spinner Mahmudullah (two for 38) supported.
When fast bowler Kemar Roach, who snatched five for 56, sliced through the Tigers' top order to reduce them to 30 for three in the ninth over, West Indies appeared en route to a rousing victory.
However, the outstanding Mahmudullah (48) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (44) combined in a spirited 91-run, fourth wicket stand to stabilise the innings, before Nasir Hossain stroked an unbeaten 39 not out down the order, to seal the triumph.
The right-hander held his nerves in anxious moments at the end, smashing the final ball of the 44th over from seamer Andre Russell to the third-man boundary, to spark celebrations among the 22 000-strong crowd.
The result would have been hard to take for West Indies especially after they lost the first two games in Khulna to fall behind 0-2 in the series but fought back to win the last two here in Dhaka.
Once again, their batting lay at the core of the chaos, failing to set Bangladesh a decent enough total for their bowlers to defend.
Asked to bat, the Windies plunged to 17 for three off eight overs, with openers Chris Gayle (two) and Kieran Powell (11), along with Marlon Samuels (one), all perishing quickly.
Pollard and Bravo then stitched up the innings with a 132-run, fourth wicket partnership that halted the slump and lay the foundation for a Windies assault in the final overs.
The right-handed Pollard, with just 43 runs from his four previous innings, slammed five fours and eight sixes in a 74-ball cameo to lead the revival, while Bravo supported in an innings that contained three fours and a six off 108 balls.
Pollard was moving into high gear when he played around the fifth ball of Mominul Haque's first spell and lost his off-stump in the 32nd over and captain Darren Sammy lasted six balls before steering Mominul to Jahurul Islam at slip, in the left-armer's next over.
Bravo and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas (25) put on 37 for the sixth wicket but once Bravo tapped an easy catch to Mominul at cover off Mahmudullah in the 41st over, the last five wickets fell for 29 runs.
Bangladesh were rocked early when Roach prised out the top three of Tamim Iqbal (8), Anamul Haque (0) and Jahurul Islam (10) but two critical partnerships rescued the innings.
Mahmudullah stroked seven fours off 45 balls and Mushfiqur faced 56 balls and also counted seven boundaries, as they dragged Bangladesh back into a winning position.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine, who finished with three for 38, broke the stand in the 21st over when he bowled Mahmudullah and he also picked up Mushfiqur two overs later, playing on, to once again open up the game as a contest.
But Nasir Hossain found an ally in Mominul (25) and they bravely added 53 for the sixth wicket to put the Tigers on the brink of victory.
The right-handed Nasir held the lower order together with a responsible innings, striking two fours and a six off 52 balls and even when three wickets fell for 29 runs in a tense 28-ball period, he stood tall and refused to gift his wicket.