The West Indies have been presented with a chance of securing a rare series win against Bangladesh as they head into the final One Day international (ODI) at Basseterre, St. Kitts from Guyana with the series level 1-1.
The West Indies have had a horrid run in ODIs over the last few years with their last series win being a 3-0 sweep against this very opposition back in 2014.
However, this series has not been quite as convincing as the last and could see the Windies facing a challenge despite the home advantage.
At Basseterre, the Windies should feel more confident with the wicket expecting to favour the fast bowlers and with the inclusion of left arm seamer, Sheldon Cottrell who replaces Andre Russell in the squad.
Cottrell, if given the nod, could play a major role and, with skipper Jason Holder, Keemo Paul and Alzarri Joseph already in the XI, it will be interesting to see if the homesters will opt for the four pace attack to go with leg break bowler, Devendra Bishoo.
It could mean that spinner Ashley Nurse will miss out but Chris Gayle’s off spin should serve as a capable replacement.
Gayle conceded 26 runs from his seven overs in the previous match which halted the scoring of Bangladesh through the middle overs.
Throughout the series West Indies have struggled to take wickets, claiming just 10 wickets so far while Bangladesh have tallied 19.
Unlike the West Indies, their strike bowlers have been able to pick up crucial wickets and they have bowled according to plan.
In the first match, the seamers, led by skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, destroyed the West Indies while the second match saw the visitors containing the batsmen and breaking partnerships regularly, compared to the West Indies who allowed Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan to score partnerships of 207 and 97 while Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim added 87 in the second ODI.
Even with the win in the second ODI, West Indies made 271 but Bangladesh required just 14 from the last two overs while stroking their fastest 50 in ODIs.
It is no surprise that Mortaza believes that his team was in the match until the last few deliveries, requiring eight from the last over.
West Indies will need to remove the four most senior men in the Bangladesh set up while needing their seniors to step up.
In order for them to secure the series, their fast bowlers will need to come out guns blazing.
With the bat, West Indies will feel a bit safer following Shimron Hetmeyer’s ton and their 250-plus total in the second ODI and with the smaller Warner Park, runs is expected to flow.
Hetmyer has been the stand out in the West Indies batting department coming off of a half century in the first match and his second ODI ton was described as a coming of age century.
He has expressed his intent to seal the series with the bat for his side, while his captain has already endorsed his efforts and supports his venture.
Gayle has gradually looked set but has been unfortunate to get out at crucial times. However, at Warner Park, Gayle could be the one to fire.
Evin Lewis and Shai Hope have both gotten starts but failed to carry on while Jason Mohammed has struggled since his return to the team.
Rovman Powell’s responsible 44 in the second innings allowed West Indies to post an important century stand but apart from that, the partnerships have been the Windies problem.
Bangladesh, though, have been the exact opposite with four partnerships in excess of 60 compared to West Indies with only two.
With both teams ranking among the bottom tier and using the series as a stepping stone in their preparation for the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in England, a series win could boost their morale.
The first ball will bowl off at 09:30hrs local time.