Ramdin, Bravo giftwrap whitewash
(Cricinfo) Denesh Ramdin wouldn’t have had as much fun on a cricket field as he did yesterday afternoon at Warner Park. His malevolent 169 was part of the highest third wicket partnership in ODIs with Darren Bravo, who also accumulated a century, and ensured West Indies completed a 3-0 whitewash by 91 runs.
The hosts were catapulted to 338 for 7 in 50 overs, a score that was well out of Bangladesh’s reach especially at a time when their batsmen are scraping the bottom of the confidence barrel. But they are due some for bouncing back after such a hiding, making 247 for 8, having lasted their full quota.
Bangladesh were 2 for 2 in the second over and were threatening to sink further, but Tamim Iqbal struck his first international fifty in more than nine months and 18 innings. Mushfiqur Rahim top scored with 72, but since he holed out in the deep the last hopes his team had faded away.
West Indies’ bowlers could bide their time thanks to Ramdin and Bravo. The duo clattered 19 sixes, the most by West Indies in an ODI en route to amassing 258 runs for the third wicket, beating the previous record held by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers by 20 runs. For most of their union, it was hard to see past their bats as they dined on a bowling attack that was at times perfect for big hitting.
Mashrafe Mortaza and Al-Amin Hossain, despite the early promise, barely clocked above 130 kmph while Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah persisted with shortish darts. With a moderate-sized ground, a flat surface and with a bit of wind behind them, West Indies simply took off.
The early losses of Lendl Simmons and Chris Gayle were forgotten with Ramdin and Bravo using singles to ease the pressure. But there was a change is tactics in the 19th over – 10 runs were taken off it, 19 was smacked in the 22nd over, with Ramdin peppering the crowd behind midwicket and Bravo opting to go straight.
Ramdin razed three sixes off Mortaza in the 38th over and hurtled to his second century in four ODIs. Bravo reached his hundred soon after, a knock that was a long time coming as he has struggled to convert fifties into three-figure marks in ODIs.
Ramdin struck 11 sixes while Bravo contributed eight and while they made merry, although none of it would have happened if Bangladesh had held onto their chances
Mushfiqur missed a stumping off Bravo, batting on 10, when Abdur Razzak beat him in length. The ball was so poorly fumbled that the wicketkeeper flailed at air when he tried for a second time. Razzak had his own gaffe when he didn’t get under a looping ball in mid-on after Ramdin skied Mashrafe on 35.
Razzak lost his form, bowling much too short and far too quickly. Gazi’s struggles might be understandable, considering the scrutiny surrounding his bowling actions. He hardly found a rhythm, and was perhaps wrongly entrusted with the first over of the match with all the focus on him. Al-Amin was the only saving grace, ending up with his second four-wicket haul in ODIs, both coming in this series. But he could rein in the West Indies batsmen.
West Indies also faced difficulty with Bangladesh’s third-wicket stand. Mushfiqur and Tamim added 99 runs with a bit of style, but the bluster was obviously missing. Anamul Haque and Imrul Kayes were gone by the first eleven balls, the latter to Kemar Roach’s stunning one-handed catch at mid-on. Mahmudullah offered some more resistance through a 55-run fifth wicket stand with his captain. The contest faded away in the 22nd over when Tamim got out, and the rest of the game couldn’t have ended sooner.
The abiding memory from the first-ever day-night match at Warner Park, though, would be what happened during day time. Ramdin and Bravo slamming one six after another made to keep the fans singing and dancing.