Russell helped West Indies defend 12 runs in the final over after Pooran’s late exploits pushed them to 142
West Indies 142 for 7 (Pooran 40, Chase 39, Shoriful 2-20) beat Bangladesh 139 for 5 (Liton 44, Mahmudullah 31*, Holder 1-22) by three runs
Andre Russell’s telling final over sealed West Indies’ first win of the T20 World Cup 2021, as they beat Bangladesh by three runs in Sharjah. In a battle that came down to the final over, Bangladesh needed 13 runs to win but Russell nailing his yorkers meant Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain could manage only nine.
West Indies’ batting was not up to the mark again, particularly in the first 15 overs. They struggled overall with their ground fielding and catching too. Nicholas Pooran’s 22-ball 40, along with superb death bowling efforts by Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul helped them stay in the game. Bangladesh bowlers could have shut off West Indies much earlier, but for Pooran, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his batting display.
West Indies’ seven sixes in the last five overs made up for their lack of boundaries in the first 15. Pooran started things with two slog sweeps off Shakib Al Hasan, before going straight against Mahedi Hasan. Jason Holder then slammed a wayward Mustafizur Rahman for two big sixes through square leg, before Pollard, who had retired ill in the 13th over, came back to finish off the innings with a six over midwicket. West Indies got the much-needed runs, plundering 58 in the last five overs, taking the total to 142 for 7.
Bangladesh missed four chances in the field. Mahedi dropped Roston Chase twice, the first was off his own bowling in the seventh over when Chase chipped one towards him. In the 14th over, Mahedi then dropped him at the wide long-on boundary.
But what happened next ball really cost Bangladesh. Liton Das missed Pooran’s stumping when he was on 2. In the 19th over, Afif couldn’t hold on to Holder’s chance at the deep cover boundary, again costing Bangladesh some important runs.
West Indies too had a bad day in the field. They missed a few run-out chances and dropped three catches too.
Shakib pulled his hamstring as early as the fifth over of the match, but he plodded through most of the West Indies innings, bowling his full quota of four overs. The best time an injured Shakib could contribute with the bat was the powerplay, so Bangladesh did a slightly out-of-the-box move by sending him out to open the innings with Mohammad Naim. That did not work out well for Bangladesh, as Shakib could manage just 9 runs off 12 balls, getting out to Russell in the fifth over.
The scoop shot hasn’t really worked for Mushfiqur Rahim, who has now got out twice, bowled while trying the shot in critical phases in the T20 World Cup. In this game, he missed the scoop off Rampaul who bowled straight on the stumps. It came shortly after Mushfiqur had struck a four with a superb square cut earlier in the over, but the dismissal left Bangladesh at 90 for 4 in the 14th over. Mushfiqur had similarly missed the scoop against Chris Greaves in Bangladesh’s first match against Scotland, getting out at a critical time in their chase – again shortly after he had started to connect the ball well.
West Indies didn’t allow Bangladesh to get away with the game even with Mahmudullah and Liton threatening to do so at times. After Liton got out in the 19th over, Bangladesh were left with 13 needed off the last over. It was all set up well for Mahmudullah, but after getting the strike in the third delivery, he hardly got room to swing his arms. He even got a chance, with eight needed off three balls, when Andre Fletcher dropped him at deep square leg. Mahmudullah and Afif could only deal in twos, and with four needed off the last ball, Russell zoomed in another full ball which missed Mahmudullah’s flashing blade.