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WI bats ablaze


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WI bats ablaze

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The series was over, but don’t tell that to the West Indies.

The boys in maroon have always come under the gun for not taking care of business against lesser ranked opposition, but at Warner Park in St Kitts last night, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo put all that talk to rest.

The pair of Trinidadians was in a record-breaking mood, leading the West Indies to a 3-0 series whitewash after their 91-run victory in the one-sided day-night encounter.

Ramdin and Bravo ended murmurs in the crowd when the Windies were 12 for two in just the fifth over of the third One-Day International against Bangladesh with the series already wrapped up.

They blazed the hapless Bangladesh bowling all over the ground, combining for a One-Day International record third-wicket partnership of 258 that ended the contest there and then.

And when Bravo did leave, attempting a big shot once too often, Ramdin stayed at the party, scoring a career-best 169, which led the home team to an impressive 338 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs.

But it was their work together that sent cricket aficionados scrambling for their record books. Their third-wicket partnership is now the best in the game’s 50-over format.

Ramdin did have his nervous moments before reaching three figures, including a TV review upstairs which showed a slight edge didn’t carry to keeper Mushfiqur Rahim when he was 98.

The Test skipper showed his prowess in the short version, and even some unexpected power, with his 169 coming off 121 balls, with 11 sixes.

The innings included 19 maximums, a record for the West Indies. The 258 runs he added with Bravo underlined the hosts’ dominance and comfortably beat South Africa’s Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers’ 238-run union for the third-wicket against Pakistan.

Ramdin’s 169 also tied with another Trinidadian, former captain Brian Lara, for the third highest as a West Indian, just behind Sir Vivian Richards’ record 189.

The partnership was a classy one, but Ramdin appeared more confident, his stroke-making, especially two sixes over midwicket, setting off wild fan scenes of jubilation at Warner Park.

Bangladesh fell apart in the field despite removing openers Chris Gayle and Lendl Simmons by the fifth over. And their fielding kept disintegrating as the innings wore on.

Ramdin and Bravo started to take chances from the 19th over, and despite a hiccup or two, kept clearing the boundary with ease.

Bravo struck 124 off 127 balls with seven fours and eight sixes, some going into the car park. He looked a bit nervous in the nineties, but reached his hundred off 112 balls.

In reply, Bangladesh did bat solidly, but reaching triple figures never appeared on the cards. They did reach 75 in the first ten overs, losing only two wickets in the process, but the hard-working West Indies bowlers kept to the task, never really letting go of the stranglehold the batsmen had applied.

When the balls ran out, ending their agony, the beaten visitors were 247 for eight. (BA)

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