Two evenly matched teams playing against one another is always a great competition, like from the big countries at present you would love watching England and Australia taking on each other and when we talk about two promising teams it has to be Bangladesh and West Indies.
West Indies with an influx of power hitters, experienced batsman and some really good bowlers were always a team to lookout for while Bangladesh which is the most improved team of the decade are known for their unpredictability, hence a great competition was on the cards and the match did turn out to be an exciting one!
After putting West Indies to bat first at the County Ground, Taunton, Windies were off to a good start despite Gayle falling out for a duck. Evin Lewis finally looked back in his groove hitting a solid 70 off 67 balls. He also stitched a crucial partnership with Shai Hope who top scored with 96 runs falling 4 runs short of a very deserving ton. Hetmyer finally brought up his maiden world cup 50 in grand fashion hitting a swashbuckling 50 off 26 balls which included some lusty blows pushing West Indies to 321/8 in 50 overs. With 3 wkts each, Mustafizur Rahman (3/59) and Mohammad Saifuddin (3/72) were the pick of the bowlers while all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan also chipped in with 2/54 in 8 overs.
Chasing 322 even for a legit powerful team would be difficult as there is always a pressure plus the dew of the wicket changes a bit. However, the lion hearted tigers are not the ones to give up so easily. After openers putting up a decent start, it was their all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Dos putting on a mammoth record-breaking 189* run stand which is amongst the highest 4th wicket partnerships in world cup matches.
Both the boys attacked West Indies as if there was no tomorrow and Litton plonking Gabriel for 3 sixes in the 38th over was a signal that something historic was about to happen for them. Shakib en-route his brilliant 124*off mere 99 balls became only the 2ND Bangladeshi batsman to score two world cup hundreds after Mahumudullah. In process he also became the 1st Bangladeshi to reach 6000 ODI runs and also became the highest run getter for Bangladesh in World Cup.
A normal win in the 2nd last or the last over with only a handful of wickets in hand would have been still acceptable but boy the Bangla tigers registered an emphatic win by 7 wkts & 8.3 overs to spare making it one of the most dominating & memorable wins of Bangladesh in their ODI history. This win will give them a world of confidence and for many reasons it will bring a epic change in Bangaldesh Cricket on how the world looks at them. For Bangladesh, this win would certainly hold that much importance which we felt after defeating England in the 2002 Natwest Finals.
Shakib Al Hasan with 2/54 and 124* was rightly declared ‘man of the match” as he alongwith his team have instilled the much needed excitement into the World Cup Campaign’19
Article orignally first written by the same writer for Sportsnasha.com