DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – A Marlon Samuels half-century was not enough to save West Indies from defeat, as Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim produced a superb unbeaten 41, to fire his side to a three-wicket win with a ball to spare in the one-off Twenty20 International here yesterday.
The right-handed Samuels’s 58 formed the foundation of the West Indies’ 132 for eight after they were sent in at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
However, Mushfiqur produced a fine innings, hammering a six off the penultimate ball of the match to help Bangladesh draw first blood in the series that comprises three One-Day Internationals and two Tests.
West Indies got off to a slow start when openers Lendl Simmons (23) and Adrian Barath (15) added a lazy 25 from 26 balls.
The innings gained momentum through a 36-run, second wicket stand off 30 balls between Simmons and Samuels but once they were parted, the innings lost its way badly.
Samuels, who hit a hundred in a T20 tour match last Sunday, counted two fours and four sixes off 42 balls.
In reply, Bangladesh lost key wickets along the way to slump to 93 for six in the 16th over before Mushfiqur and Nasir Hossain (18) posted a crucial 31 off 24 balls for the seventh wicket.
When Nasir was caught behind off the third ball of the final over, Bangladesh still required five for victory but Mushfiqur promptly dispatched the fifth delivery over mid-wicket to end the match emphatically.
The loss would have been heartbreaking for the Windies who seemed to be in control up until that point.
They broke a worrying opening stand of 23 off 21 balls between Imrul Kayes (22) and Tamim Iqbal (11), when Rampaul had Tamim caught at the wicket.
Imrul added a further 26 from 27 balls for the second wicket with Mohammad Ashraful (24), before Imrul found Danza Hyatt at backward square off leg-spinner Anthony Martin.
Samuels, whose four overs of spin cost a miserly 14 runs and yielded two wickets, then bowled the dangerous Shakib Al Hasan for a first ball duck off the very next ball to leave Bangladesh reeling at 49 for three in the eighth over.
With just three runs added, Alok Kapali (2) skied a catch to Martin running around from point to hand pacer Carlos Brathwaite his first wicket in international cricket, and put the Windies in control of the game.
Ashraful, who hit two fours off 25 balls, perished at the hands of Samuels and Naeem Islam was bowled by captain and medium pacer Darren Sammy for 10, as Bangladesh slipped further to 93 for six.
But Mushfiqur, who hit one four and two sixes off 26 balls, kept his head to guide the Tigers to victory.
Earlier, the Windies lost Barath trying to accelerate the scoring, caught at mid-on by Tamim Iqbal off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.
Samuels got off the mark in style with a sixover backward square off pacer Rubel Hossain and followed up two balls later by hammering the same bowler over point for another six.
Simmons slapped left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for a six over long on but played back to the next ball and was lbw at 61 for two at the end of the ninth, and Andre Russell (5) – promoted to number four – and Darren Bravo (7) failed to make any impression, as the Windies slumped to 105 for four in the 16th over.
West Indies then lost three wickets for six runs in the space of eight balls to crash even further, as the innings limped to a tame end.