West Indies 59 for 1 (Gayle 37*) beat Bangladesh 58 (Benn 4-18) by nine wickets
Bangladesh’s batsmen froze catastrophically in a performance that was a throwback to their years of ineptitude in the early 2000s, as West Indies sauntered to a nine-wicket victory in a contest that spanned just 31.1 overs. As the mood within a packed and expectant Mirpur stadium turned from excitement to fury, Bangladesh shipped all ten wickets in 18.5 overs to be routed for 58 – the lowest total ever made by a Full Member nation in World Cup history.
It was a craven performance in a critical contest. With the permutations in Group B blown wide open by England’s loss to the Irish, both teams knew that the winner of this match would have one foot firmly planted in the quarter-finals. However, the cool efforts of Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy – the only three West Indian bowlers called upon – proved too much for a feckless batting line-up that never tried to recover from the third-ball dismissal of its linchpin, Tamim Iqbal.
After out-muscling Ireland in a low-scoring thriller last week, Bangladesh began their third contest full of optimism, with the crowd reacting wildly to Shakib Al Hasan’s correct call at the toss. However, the din was sucked clean out of the stadium by Roach’s third delivery of the match, a full-length outswinger which Tamim flashed loosely to Sammy at second slip for a duck.
Roach, who wrapped up West Indies’ victory over the Netherlands on Monday with a hat-trick, had four wickets in his last six World Cup deliveries. The confidence in his team’s performance was instantly tangible, and three overs later the captain Sammy was back in the thick of things, this time with his own third delivery, as Imrul Kayes feathered a short ball through to the keeper for 5.
Mushfiqur Rahim – one of the cooler heads in the Bangladeshi dressing-room – then flicked his fourth ball loosely to short midwicket to give Sammy two in seven, and though Junaid Siddique prevented Bangladesh’s score from stalling with a cool flow of boundaries in a 27-ball 25, his token resistance was ended by the extra pace of Roach, who took the pitch out of the equation with a pinpoint yorker that struck the batsman flush on the toe.
At 36 for 4, the collapse was only just gathering pace. Shakib once again looked in prime form with a classy slap for four off Sammy, but he had not added to his total when he joined the procession one over later, bowled by the second over of Benn’s new spell as he hung back in his crease and offered next to no resistance as the stumps were broken by a full-length tweaker.
Next up came Raqibul Hasan, who revived the crowd briefly by bringing up Bangladesh’s 50 in the 14th over with a poke to third man, but two balls later silence reigned once again as Sammy served up a rare wide delivery, and Raqibul obligingly slapped a cut to point for 4.
Mohammad Ashraful confirmed the quality and trustworthiness of the surface with two elegant fours in his 21-ball stay – a drive through the covers and a fierce cut through point – but Roach’s extra pace once again made the difference, as Ashraful wafted the first ball of his sixth over to the keeper. Naeem Islam, by this stage, had also been and gone, beaten by Benn’s extra bounce to poke another catch to the keeper.
The end had been nigh right from the moment of Tamim’s departure, but the denouement was pathetic. Shafiul Islam faced up to a field including a slip and a gully, and chose an open-faced prod straight into the hands of the latter, and one delivery later, a Benn yorker proved sufficient to peg back Rubel Hossain’s off stump.
As they retreated to the dressing-room, the Bangladesh team was showered with torn-up four and six placards by a livid and bitterly disappointed crowd, who were streaming from the exits throughout the West Indies’ 78-ball chase. Chris Gayle nudged his first delivery through point to bring up his 8000th run in ODI cricket, before sealing the mismatch with a 36-ball 37. Devon Smith, who was bowled for 6 by Naeem, was the only man to miss out on a day of total Caribbean dominance.