SYLHET – Shai Hope walloped the third-fastest Twenty20 International fifty to help West Indies overpower Bangladesh by eight wickets in the opening game of the three-match series on Monday.
The hosts were undone by Sheldon Cottrell’s awkward short balls to be bowled out for 129 off 19 overs and then a bumper crowd sat in silence as Hope battered six sixes and three fours to end the contest in a hurry.
Hope reached his fifty off 16 balls, behind Yuvraj Singh (12 balls) and Colin Munro (14 balls), top-scoring with 55 from 23 balls.
The innings had plenty of brutality in it – especially when he played the pull shot or the slog sweep – but it was not lacking in finesse as a ramp to the third man boundary showed.
Hope shared an opening stand of 51 runs in 3.2 overs with the returning Evin Lewis (18), and then put on 47 in 4.2 overs with Nicholas Pooran, unbeaten on 23 at the end.
The visitors raced to 91 for one, equalling the highest score in the powerplay alongside Australia, Ireland and Netherlands, who had also got there in Sylhet, four years ago during the World T20 2014.
Keemo Paul did justice to his promotion to No 4, hitting an unbeaten 28 off 14 balls with a four and three sixes, one of which carried 96 metres, as West Indies completed victory in 10.5 overs.
Bangladesh had chosen to bat first under gloomy skies, and their performance put the home crowd in a similar mood, with only three batsmen reaching double-figures.
Cottrell’s career-best four for 28, and wickets from Paul, Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite and Fabian Allen, kept Bangladesh in check.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan was the only batsman who showed smarts for Bangladesh, top-scoring with 61 off 43 deliveries. He preferred the offside when looking for his eight fours, having nailed Thomas for a rasping cut through point and two cover drives.
Both his sixes came through mid-on but luck was also on his side. Three boundaries came off his outside edge and one off the inside edge.
Five batsmen were dismissed trying to pull fast and short deliveries, all of them either top-edging for easy catches or hitting it straight to fielders.
Tamim Iqbal (5) was the first to fall in this way, mistiming a pull off Cottrell straight to Brathwaite at mid-on and Liton Das (6) did exactly the same off Thomas, before Soumya Sarkar (5) also mistimed a pull to be caught at mid-wicket, off Cottrell.
Bangladesh’s powerplay was rounded off with Mushfiqur Rahim (5) caught short of his crease by Rovman Powell who threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end from mid-wicket.
Shakib then had two short partnerships with Mahmudullah (12) and Ariful Haque (17) that kept Bangladesh afloat for a time before the innings collapse after Mahmudullah and Ariful fell.
Shakib became Cottrell’s fourth wicket in the 18th over, again trying to pull but succeeding only in top-edging a catch to the bowling running around to short square leg.
Tamim Iqbal c Brathwaite b Cottrell 5
Liton Das c Brathwaite b Thomas 6
Soumya Sarkar c Powell b Cottrell 5
*Shakib Al Hasan c&b Cottrell 61
+Mushfiqur Rahim run out 5
Mahmudullah Riyad c Hope b Cottrell 12
Ariful Haque c Pooran b Allen 17
Mohammad Saifuddin c Pooran b Brathwaite 1
Mehidy Hasan c Hope b Paul 8
Abu Hider not out 1
Mustafizur Rahman b Paul 0
Extras (b4, lb2, w1, nb1) 8
Total (all out; 19 overs) 129
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Tamim), 2-19 (Liton), 3-31 (Soumya), 4-48 (Mushfiqur), 5-73 (Mahmudullah), 6-103 (Ariful), 7-110 (Saifuddin), 8-122 (Shakib), 9-129 (Mehidy),
Bowling: Thomas 4-0-33-1, Cottrell 4-0-28-4 (w1), Paul 4-0-23-2 (nb1), Brathwaite 3-0-13-1, Allen 3-0-19-1, Powell 1-0-7-0
E Lewis c Ariful b Saifuddin 18
+S Hope c Mustafizur b Mahmudullah 55
N Pooran not out 23
K Paul not out 28
Extras (lb5, w1) 6
TOTAL (2 wkts, 10.5 overs) 130
Did not bat: S. Hetmyer, D. Bravo, R. Powell, +C. Brathwaite, F. Allen, S. Cottrell, O. Thomas
Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Lewis), 2-98 (Hope)
Bowling: Shakib 3.5-0-32-0, Mehidy 2-0-37-0, Hider 1-0-15-0, Saifuddin 1-0-13-1 (w1), Mustafizur 1-0-15-0, Mahmudullah 2-0-13-1.
Result: West Indies win by eight wickets.
Series: West Indies lead three-match series 1-0.
Umpires: Tanvir Ahmed, Sharfuddoula;
TV – Mashudur Rahman.