Shakib Al Hasan’s remarkable unbeaten century helped Bangladesh rout mighty West Indies in a crucial World Cup encounter on Monday as the Tigers successfully chased 322 by losing just three wickets with more than eight overs to spare.
Batting first, West Indies had piled up a total of 321 for 8 in 50 overs. But, this total turned out to be an ordinary task as Bangladesh began their run-chase. They made an electric start while displaying their sense of urgency. In the process, they lost two quick wickets, but this was in no way going to be a stumbling block in their way to chase the 300 plus total. With Bangladesh scoring 133-3 in 19 overs, they appeared to be in complete control of their game.
Shakib looked in devastating form as he scored his second consecutive century off just 83 balls. This was also his fifth consecutive fifty in One Day Internationals. He made the mockery of an otherwise strong West Indian bowling attack as he added 89 runs with Liton Das for the fourth wicket partnership. Das was unlucky to have missed out his century by 6 runs as he remained not out at 94 off 69 balls. Das was so explosive in the middle-order that at one point he hit Shannon Gabriel for three consecutive sixes.
Earlier, Shai Hope with 96 runs, Evin Lewis’ knock of 70 and a quickfire 50 from Shimron Hetmyer in just 26 balls had helped West Indies build a formidable total of 321 in 50 overs.
Shakib, who was adjudged Man Of The Match for his sublime century, said that he was glad that his hard work was finally paying off. He said, “I have been working on my batting for the last month and it has been paying off. I need to contribute with the ball as well. I am doing OK but I can get better.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder conceded that his team were ‘probably 40-50 runs short.’ “The wicket played really well but we could have been more disciplined with the ball and we let ourselves down in the field as well.,” he added.
With today’s win, Bangladesh have occupied the fifth position in the table. They have four more matches left and could be a serious contender for the semi-final if they win all their remaining matches.
Scores in brief:
West Indies 321-8 (50 overs): Hope 96, Lewis 70, Hetmyer 50
Bangladesh 322-3 (41.3 overs): Shakib 124*, Das 94*