Sports desk, June 17: Riding on the back-to-back tons by Shakib Al Hasan and a brisk half century by Liton Das, Bangladesh outclassed West Indies by seven wickets with 51 balls to spare in their fifth game of the ongoing World Cup at Taunton on Monday.Chasing a record total of 321 runs, the rampant Tigers reached the target scoring 322 runs for three in 41.3 overs.
Bangladesh never won a game in World Cups chasing as many runs. This win brought the Tigers to the 5th position of the points table.
Shakib, who has been enjoying his best World Cup ever, hit the ton in 83 deliveries with 13 boundaries. Along with Liton Das, who got the chance in the playing XI for the first time in the World Cup, Shakib added unbeaten 189 runs in the fourth wicket stand.
It was Bangladesh’s best-ever partnership in the World Cups. They surpassed previous best of 92 made by Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique in 2011.
Shakib remained unbeaten on 124 off 99 balls with 16 fours while Liton was on 94 off 69 with eight fours and four sixes.
Bangladesh managed a decent start as Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar added 52 runs in the opening stand in 8.2 overs. This start provided the initial foundation for the Tigers to record their highest successful chase in the World Cups.
Soumya fell for 29 while cutting Andre Russell right over the slip cordon but he failed to judge the height of the ball and managed a catch to Chris Gayle at the slip cordon. However, Soumya’s dismissal did not affect the progress of Bangladesh as Tamim and Shakib added 69 runs in the second wicket stand.
This partnership came to an end when Tamim failed to return to his place after playing a delivery of Sheldon Cottrell to the bowler himself. Cottrell grabbed the ball and threw it to the stump in a blink of an eye to run Tamim out for 48 off 53 with six fours.
Following Tamim’s removal, Bangladesh lost Mushfiqur Rahim for one. It was Mushfirqur’s first one-digit score after nine games. Mushfiqur nicked the ball to the wicketkeeper while cutting Oshane Thomas to the leg side.
When Bangladesh were sweating over losing two wickets in quick succession, Shakib and Liton made an outstanding stand of 189 runs to seal the game with 51 balls to spare. Bangladesh ended on 322 for three in 41.3 overs.
Earlier, Shakib also hit a century (121 runs) against England apart from two fifties — 75 against South Africa and 64 against New Zealand in the World Cup.
He has become the top scorer in the ongoing World Cup surpassing Australia’s Aaron Finch who had 343 from five matches. The ace all-rounder has now 384 runs in his bag.
Shakib started the match in the 5th position of the top scorers’ list of the World Cup. He needed at least 84 runs to surpass Finch.
Along the way, he completed 6000 runs as the second Bangladeshi after Tamim Iqbal. Tamim had taken 177 matches to reach the milestone while Shakib took 202 matches.
Earlier, West Indies posted 321 for eight wickets in 50 overs with the help of Shai Hope’s 96 off 121. Along with him, Evin Lewis (70), Shimron Hetmyer (50) and Jason Holder (33) were the other batsmen to dominate over the Bangladeshi bowlers.
West Indies started their innings with a nightmarish dismissal of Chris Gayle as the Caribbean superstar failed to add anything to the board. Mohammad Saifuddin removed him for a duck. Gayle went to cut him away but managed only an edge to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
However, in the second wicket stand, Evin Lewis and Shai Hope added 118 runs. The stand was broken by Shakib who removed Lewis for 70 off 67 with six fours and two sixes.
After the dismissal of Lewis, Nicholas Pooran came in and posted 25 off 30 before being dismissed by Shakib. His dismissal did not help so much though as Shimron Hetmyer came in and struck a fifty off just 25 balls with four fours and three sixes.
In the fourth wicket partnership comprising Hope and Hetmyre, West Indies added 83 off just 40 deliveries, which eventually helped West Indies put up a challenging total of 321 for eight wickets in 50 overs.
Had not Mustafizur Rahman removed Hetmyer for 50, they would have brought the Caribbeans to a bigger total. Mustafizur ended up taking three wickets for 59 runs. Saifuddin also returned taking three wickets but he conceded 72 runs in spite of recording a maiden over while Shakib bagged two more.
In the end, Shakib was awarded man of the match for his outstanding all-round efforts of taking two wickets and scoring 124 unbeaten runs.
Bangladesh will face Australia on June 20 while West Indies will take on New Zealand on June 22.
Man of the match Shakib: “It feels great, I have been working on my batting for the last month and it has been paying off. It was a team effort, we had the belief that if we bat well we could chase it down.
“I know at three I will get more opportunities and more time to bat. I need to contribute with the ball as well, I am doing ok but I can get better.”
(A third successive hundred?) “It will be tough, especially against Australia, so we have to bring our A-game.
“Our fans have been fantastic throughout this World Cup.”