Looking at the way Bangladesh bowlers offered width, fielders dropped catches and gave away boundaries where there were at best two on Tuesday, a senior local journalist remarked: “Thank God, we don’t have Nepal and Hong Kong in the Super 10.”
Considering the poor shape the team was in, the same journalist had asked Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim during the pre-match media conference, how he had planned to overcome a team like the West Indies.
He was not way off the mark. Bangladesh were. Chasing 172 to win, the hosts who had lost to Hong Kong in their last match of the qualifying stages, opened their Super 10 campaign with a 73-run loss, the cricket team failing to add to the massive celebrations lined up for Bangladesh’s Independence Day on Wednesday. Bangladesh were all out in the 17th over in their defeat to Hong Kong. On Tuesday, they were packed up for 98 in 19.1 overs. And as skipper Mushfiqur said after the match, there was need for serious introspection.
The packed Sher-e Bangla National stadium which was constantly on its feet during the West Indies innings hoping for a strong reply from Bangladesh, fell completely silent by the time when Shakib Al Hasan walked back to the pavilion. The hosts were reeling at 16 for three in the fourth over with left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie on a hattrick. When skipper Mushfiqur fell, Bangladesh were 58 for six.
Only one Bangladesh batsman was able to get past 20 and that was not just because West Indies bowled exceptionally well. They bowled to the field, waited for the Bangladesh batsmen to make mistakes and took some exceptional catches. Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal too took two spectacular ones dismissing Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, but by that time the damage was already done.
Off-spinner Sohag Gazi, brought in for the out of form left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, mainly for his reputation of giving Gayle a tough time during the BPL and the West Indies one-day series here which Bangladesh had won, was hit for four consecutive boundaries by Dwayne Smith who cruised to a 43-ball 72.
A run-a-ball 48 by Gayle was the only other decent score on the card but their 97-run opening wicket stand made the difference.