MIRPUR – Opener Dwayne Smith and legspinner Samuel Badree starred as the defending champions West Indies beat Bangladesh by 73 runs Tuesday to remain in contention for the World Twenty20 semi-finals.
Smith smashed a quick 72 off 43 deliveries to launch the West Indies to a challenging 171-7, and then Badree came on to grab 4-15 as Bangladesh folded for 98 in 19.1 overs.
Smith was supported well by opening partner Chris Gayle, who struck a run-a-ball 48 as the West Indies made a determined effort after losing to India by seven wickets in its opening game.
Their first-wicket stand of 97 helped take control early on, and the team stuttered only at the end when they lost four wickets, including a run out, in the last over bowled by Al-Amin Hossain. He took 3-2 in the over.
Hossain finished with 3-21 but those wickets mattered little in the end as Bangladesh failed to come out of the rut that had seen them lose to Hong Kong in their last qualifying match.
The openers had set the tone for the match and there was no comeback for the home side in their first Super 10 game.
Smith even overshadowed the big-hitting Gayle during their 12-over stand and was quick to punish anything short of length.
Smith got to his third T20 international half-century in style, slamming off-spinner Sohag Gazi for four consecutive fours with a reverse-sweep, two pulls and a straight drive.
“Our team was not disappointed after our loss to India, rather we put our heads down after the game,” Smith said. “The Bangladesh bowling was obviously not as good and the pitch also seemed drier today and better for batting.”
Gayle was only on 19 when Smith was out trying a pull shot to off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah. Smith could only top-edge the ball that was taken by Al-Amin Hossain at short fine-leg.
Gayle carried on, though with a lot of restraint considering his big-hitting ability, slamming three fours and two sixes.
Gayle, given a reprieve at long-off on 26 by Anamul Haque off spinner Mahmudullah, was caught by Tamim Iqbal at the same position off pace bowler Ziaur Rahman.
Bangladesh seemed to take a lot of pressure on themselves while batting in front of an expectant crowd that was soon stunned into silence.
Opener Tamim Iqbal (5) drove Badree straight to mid-off and Dwayne Bravo took a low catch diving to his left.
Pace bowler Krishmar Santokie then dismissed Anamul Haque (10) and allrounder Shakib Al Hasan (0) as Bangladesh slipped to 16-3 in the fourth over.
“Once you lose three early wickets, you are on the back foot,” Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said. “Our bowling was good, but our fielding let us down as we gave away 20 extra runs. We also needed to show better shot selection.”
Badree then came on to remove captain Rahim (22), Sabbir Rahman (1) and Mohammad Mahmudullah (1) in the same over as Bangladesh tottered at 59-7 in the 11th over with the writing very much on the wall. (AP)