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Shakib leads Tigers to historic victory

cricket Updated: Jul 21, 2009 23:08 IST

AP
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Bangladeshi stand-in captain Shakib Al Hasan led from the front with 96 not out as his side beat the West Indies in the second and final test here on Monday and he declared the 2-0 series win was the biggest thing for the cricket side in nine years.

Shakib hit the winning runs in style with a six to seal a first ever series win away from home - admittedly against a weakened and inexperienced West Indies side after the senior players boycotted the series over a pay dispute — and the first time they have won two successive tests.

Shakib and Raqibul Hasan made 65 — both career bests - to set things up for the Tigers, as they successfully chased 215 for victory to win by four wickets and claim only their second ever series win.

“In our nine years, this is the biggest thing that has happened to Bangladesh cricket,” said Shakib, who also hit 13 fours in 96 from 97 balls in a little over 2-1/2 hours to make him a shoe-in for the Man-of-the-Match award.

“This series victory will give a boost to our confidence, and will help to take us to the next level, and with God’s help, we shall go forward.

“There was not too much pressure on us (on Monday), since the boys have been playing really, really well. It was a good victory.”

Bangladesh were wobbling on 67 for four about half-hour before the tea break, but Shakib joined Raqibul and they put Bangladesh solidly on course for victory with a stand of 106 for the fifth wicket either side of tea.

Raqibul reached his 50 from 74 balls, when he steered Dave Bernard Jr to third man for his seventh fourth.

About 25 minutes later, Shakib arrived at his landmark, when he drove Kemar Roach for his seventh boundary and the first of three in succession in the fast bowler’s 11th over.

But Raqibul became the fourth of five wickets for 55 runs in 16 overs for Darren Sammy, when he gave an easy return catch with Bangladesh still needing 44.

He batted for a shade under three hours, faced 99 balls, and struck eight fours and one six.