Half-centuries by Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan paced Bangladesh to a competitive 171 for five batting first against the West Indies in the second fixture of a three-match T20 International series at the Central Broward Stadium in Florida on Saturday.
Needing victory to keep the series alive ahead of the final match at the same venue on Sunday, the Bangladeshis were indebted to their two most experienced players with Tamim blazing 74 off 44 balls with four sixes and fix fours while captain Shakib contributed 60 off 38 deliveries with one six and nine fours before he fell in the final over of the innings.
Spinner Ashley Nurse claimed two early wickets again and when all-rounder Keemo Paul removed Soumya Sarkar cheaply at 48 for three in the eighth over, Bangladesh were in desperate need of a substantial partnership to give themselves a chance of posting a competitive total after they were put in by West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite.
Tamim and Shakib provided just that with a rollicking stand of 90 for the fourth wicket off just 8.2 overs.
Their effort was not without good fortune though as the opening batsman was badly missed on 47 by Rovman Powell at mid-off to Brathwaite’s bowling. He then tore into the medium-pace of Andre Russell, taking 22 runs off his third over but fell off the final ball of the same over to a catch at long-on attempting to heave yet another six.
Shakib kept the innings moving along in the final overs before he became Paul’s second wicket, substitute fielder Chadwick Walton taking the comfortable catch at long-off.
Bangladesh made one change to the team which lost the rain-affected opening match of the series in St Kitts on Tuesday. Left-arm seamer Abu Hider replaces spinner Mehidy Hasan in the final eleven as they seek to end a run of five consecutive defeats in the format.
Not surprisingly, the West Indies retained the same team from the seven-wicket victory at Warner Park.