Tigers send Windies to third straight series loss

Opener Liton Das gathers runs through the leg side during his Man-of-the-Match 61 in the third Twenty20 International against West Indies on Sunday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

LAUDERHILL, Florida,  CMC – West Indies were left to rue an underwhelming batting performance as they went down by 19 runs under DLS in the third Twenty20 International against Bangladesh, to plunge to their third straight series defeat and seventh loss in nine outings here Sunday.

Chasing a difficult 185 in the series decider at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, the Caribbean side were heading towards defeat at 135 for seven in the 18th over, when rain arrived to end the match prematurely.

At that point, West Indies were well adrift of the par score of 155, handing Tigers a well-deserved win and a sweep of the Florida doubleheaders following their 12-run win at the same venue on Saturday night.

Andre Russell

The reigning T20 World champions were slumping at 32 for three at the end of the sixth over and not even Andre Russell’s whirlwind top score of 47 from 21 deliveries could rescue the run chase.

Rovman Powell slammed 23 and Denesh Ramdin, 21, but left-arm speedster Mustafizur Rahman, who ended with three for 31, made key strikes to keep the Windies innings in strife throughout.

Man-of-the-Match Liton Das had earlier stroked an entertaining 61 off 32 deliveries to propel Bangladesh to 184 for five off their 20 overs, after they had opted to bat first.

Veteran Mahmudullah lashed a crucial 32 not out off 20 balls while captain and Man-of-the-Series Shakib-al-Hasan contributed 24 and Tamim Iqbal, 21.

Das and Tamim gave the innings a flying start by adding 61 from 28 balls, as West Indies struggled to get a grip on the must-win encounter.

The right-handed Das struck six fours and three sixes in a 32-ball innings while the left-handed Tamim sparkled briefly with three fours and a six off 13 balls.

With the game in danger of running away from the Windies, captain Carlos Brathwaite (2-32) got the breakthrough when he had Tamim scooping to Kesrick Williams at short fine leg.

Soumya Sarkar perished five balls later in the next over for five, deceived by a slower ball from pacer Keemo Paul (2-26) and holing out to Powell at long on.

However, a series of key partnerships then buttressed the innings. Das posted 31 for the third with Mushfiqur Rahim (12) before both batsmen fell in the space of five deliveries, leaving Bangladesh on 102 for four in the 11th over.

Mahmudullah and Shakib quickly combined in a 44-run fifth wicket stand and following a break for rain, Mahmudullah provided the innings with a rousing finish by adding 38 off 24 balls with Ariful Haque (18 not out).

For the second straight night, the Windies started poorly and were staring down the barrel early.

Andre Fletcher (6) sliced Mustafizur to Nazmul Islam at point in the fourth over, ChadwickWalton holed out to long for 19 off pacer Sarkar in the next over while Samuels got one that crept from left-arm spinner Shakib in the following over, and was bowled for two.

Not for the first time in the series, Powell arrived to attempt a rescue mission, posting 45 for the fourth wicket with Ramdin, in a partnership which took West Indies to 61 without further loss at the half-way stage of the innings.

By that point, however, the required run rate had risen to nearly 12-1/2 an over and the pressure told, with Ramdin missing a slog at speedster Rubel Hossain and having his stumps shattered in the 12th over.  Russell wasted little time in finding his range, teeing off with Rubel over the ropes at mid-wicket before belting Shakib for a couple of sixes in the following over – the 13th which leaked 13 runs.

All told, Russell counted one four and half-dozen amazing sixes but lost Powell in the 14th and Brathwaite in the 17th before eventually falling to the first ball of the 18th, drilling a low full toss from Mustafizur into Ariful’s hands at long off.

Almost on cue, the rains arrived to usher in a defeat that was almost certain anyway, with the Windies still requiring 50 runs from 17 balls.

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