West Indies win thriller to keep T20 World Cup hopes alive - GulfToday

West Indies win thriller to keep T20 World Cup hopes alive


Afif Hossain (L) and teammate Mohammad Mahmudullah, walk from the field after losing to the West Indies in Sharjah on Friday. AP

Mohammad Abdullah, Sports Reporter

Andre Russell held his nerve to bowl a nervy last over, denying Bangladesh a victory after Nicholas Pooran smacked a blitzkrieg 40 as West Indies kept their semi-finals hopes alive with a nail-biting three-run victory in a T20 world Cup match in Sharjah.

Bangladesh stuttered in the chase and made a heavy weather of a modest target.  West Indies made in-roads through their bowlers to keep Bangladesh at bay from the beginning.

Litton Das was holding the fort alone and waged a brave battle single-handedly to keep the Tigers in hunt. He added 40 runs with captain Mahmudullah.

The duo took the match deep and brought the equation down to 13 needed off the last over with five wickets in hands as Das was caught at the boundary off the last ball of the penultimate over after scoring a fighting 43-ball 44 with the help of four boundaries.

After the dismissal of Das, the onus of taking Bangladesh through fell on the shoulder of Mahmudullah. Afif Hossian took a couple and a single to give strike to the skipper.

Das-Bangladesh Liton Das throws his bat in the air in frustration after he was dismissed during the T20 World Cup match. AP

He took a couple to take Bangladesh closer to the target with six needed off last two deliveries. The penultimate delivery yielded two more as Bangladesh were left needing four off the final but Mahmudullah failed to connect the ball to serve West Indies victory on a platter.

Meanwhile, Russell got rid of Shakib Al Hasan to give the West Indies first breakthrough. After that, Bangladesh kept on losing the wickets at regular intervals and a simple chase turned out to be a herculean task.

Holder uprooted the stumps of Mohammad Naim to make it 32/2. Soumya Sarkar was taken on the short fine leg by Gayle while Mushfiqur Rahim was clean bowled by Rampaul.

Earlier, West Indies staged a brilliant comeback after a wobbling start to put up a challenging total of 142/7. Bangladesh bowlers put up a clinical performance, pulling West Indies down to set them a modest target of 143.

Pace spearhead Mustafizur sent back Evin Lewis to trigger the collapse before Mahedi Hasan struck in quick successions to give Bangladesh a dream start. Lewis was caught by Mushfiqur Rahim before Hasan rattled the stumps of swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle to make it 18/2. In his next over, the wily spinner had Shimron Hetmyer caught at the boundary ropes by Sarkar.

Roston Chase was left to stitch the innings with a patient 46-ball 39. He took the score to 62 with Kieron Pollard before the latter was retired hurt.

Pooran-WC Poooran plays a shot during the T20 WC match in Sharjah.

Russell was found short pf his crease while taking a suicidal single as a direct hit from Taskin Ahmed sent him back to the pavilion for a naught.

With just 62 runs on the board the top five batsmen of the world champions were back in the pavilion, which left a lot to be done by the rest.

However, Chase put the innings back on the track along with Pooran, who smashed a quick-fire 40 off 22 deliveries to maintain the run rate. Both batted sensibly and added 57 runs for the fifth wicket as they revived the faltering innings, taking the score to 119/5 in 18.2 overs.

They looked set to take the score past 150 when Shoriful Islam got rid of both the set batsmen in consecutive deliveries to peg West Indies back again. He had Pooran caught by Naim before dislodging the bails of Chase. A clinical Pooran played a sublime knock, hitting four sixes and one boundary to accelerate the run rate.

An injured Pollard came back to bat again and hit a couple of sixes after Jason Holder’s quick-fire 5-ball 15 run cameo to propel the score to a fighting total of 142/7.


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