Dwayne Smith scored a stroke-filled 72 from 43 deliveries © AFP
By Abhijit Banare
Mar 25, 2014
A 43-ball 73 from Dwayne Smith helped West Indies post a solid total of 171 for seven against Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 2014 Group 2 match at Dhaka. It was a scratchy performance from rest of the Windies batsman but Bangladesh’s poor fielding allowed the opposition to end up with more than they expected.
In their previous match against India, the West Indies struggled to get off to a flying start. While the bowlers had kept things tight, the explosive openers didn’t show much intent until the pressure was building up. But this time around Dwayne Smith took up the responsibility while Chris Gayle looked extremely scratchy trying his best to middle the ball.
Gayle’s defensive play at the start had got a lot to do with the ankle niggle he had and was being treated by the physio before the match. And it only made his running between the wickets slower than ever. But Bangladesh compensated with Mashrafe Mortaza starting off with five wides. Bangladesh got their strategy wrong and focused more on Gayle than playing to their strengths. They dropped their experienced left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq and included Sohag Gazi.
Gayle continued to struggle failing to time the ball well. He was five from 15 balls after the first powerplay while Smith was off to a brisk start with 25 from 21 balls. The spinners fed Smith with a few wayward deliveries and he happily dispatched them for boundaries. Smith, being a predominantly leg-side player was adept at sweeping ferociously and connecting it well. Gayle’s first big shot was in the eighth over when he lofted one from Gazi into the long-on boundary. The less experienced Gazi continued to go for runs when he was hit for four boundaries on the trot by Smith in the 10th over. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was too focused on Gayle and was hesitant in bringing in strike bowler Shakib Al Hasan. It only proved costly as Sabbir Rahman was taken for a six and boundary in the next over. Finally in the 12th over, Bangladesh managed to get the breakthrough with Smith dismissed for a 43-ball 72. Before lobbing up a catch on the third delivery trying to sweep, Smith had hit a boundary and a six again in that over. His innings included 10 boundaries and three sixes.
Mushfiqur finally had to bring back Shakib and he struck on the first ball. Lendl Simmons mistook a legside delivery as a bye but Mushfiqur had done well to collect it and stump him. It was only the third time a batsman had been stumped without facing a ball, with the previous two being West Indians too (Kieron Pollard, Narsingh Deonarine).
Marlon Samuels and Gayle failed to get going and Shakib, Mahmudullah did well to keep them tied down. The impetus came in the 17th over when Shakib went for 20 runs of which eight were conceded by Mushfiqur Rahim in the form of byes. Gayle got 10 in two balls with two hammered over the bowlers hand.
Gayle eventually fell for run-a-ball 48 in the 19th over. It was a scratchy innings from Gayle’s standards and had the slowest strike-rate for any 25 plus scored by him. Bangladesh were too sloppy in the field and gave too many runs with their shoddy work in the outfield. This included two dropped catches in the 19th over which went for boundaries. The ironical aspect was two of the best catches you could witness came in the innings as well. Tamim Iqbal did a juggling act to dismiss Gayle and then took a stunning catch to send back Dwayne Bravo.
West Indies lost too many wickets towards the end but the p0or fielding ensured that they reached 171.
West Indies 171 for 7 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 72, Chris Gayle 48; Ziaur Rahman 1 for 16, Al Amin Hoisaain 3 for 19) vs Bangladesh.
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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)