Bangladesh returned to winning ways with a four-wicket victory against a fiery West Indies to advance to the Super League lower-place Playoff Final.

Bangladesh’s win was secured by their bowlers after the West Indies, choosing to bat and having passed 50 for the loss of just one wicket in the ninth over, had collapsed to 98 for 8 just an hour later.

Bangladesh’s bowlers didn’t do any more or less than what they normally do – the spinners dropped it on a length, turned it off line just a little – but the West Indies batsmen could never quite come to terms with the demands of the situation and would invariably self-destruct in a flurry of rash shots.

The ninth-wicket pair of Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach put on 63 at close to a run a ball, hitting seven boundaries between them, including three sixes. Good batting but as soon as the first five deliveries of a Rezaul Islam over went for no runs, an inevitable extra-big shot followed and in this case, Ishraq Sonnet took a fine running catch inches off the ground to dismiss Narine.

West Indies were all out for 161 in the 38th over.

Roqibul Hassan falls early

Sakib Al Hasan pulls Leon Pascal for two

Bangladesh had a testing seven overs before the official lunch interval in which the West Indies fast bowlers came at them hard. Tamim Iqbal who has been having a wretched tournament, was out to the third ball of the innings, and Roqibul Hassan followed soon after. Short-deliveries were interspersed with yorkers and though whenever presented with the opportunity, they found the boundary, the batsmen could never quite settle against the new ball. Runs may have come at better than a run a ball but Bangladesh went into lunch at 48 for 3 with plenty of work left to do.

Shamsur Rahman drives Leon Pascal to the boundary

A work-load that increased when Sakib Al-Hasan was bowled by the first ball after lunch by Nelon Pascal. As the new-ball bowlers tired, the spinners came on and Shamsur Rahman and Mehrab Hossain steadied the ship with a 77-run partnership that was largely untroubled. Pascal, brought back in the 23rd over, had Rahman caught behind off a fine edge to have Bangladesh at 125 for 5.

Mehrab Hossain, having repeatedly attempted to come down the wicket to the spinners, and managing only one scoring stroke in the process was stumped for 35. His captain Mushfiqur Rahim showed why he has already played at senior level – he has superior shot selection and execution. Although one delivery from the persevering Pascal was edged at catchable height through a vacant second slip, Rahim faced 25 deliveries in total, had six scoring strokes, three of them boundaries, including the last one through mid-off which secured the win for Bangladesh.

Man of the Match
Shamsur Rahman

Super League Lower Place Play-Off Semi-Final 1: Bangladesh v West Indies
West Indies won the toss and elected to bat
West Indies: 161 off 37.2 overs (D. Mahmud 3-46, N. Chowdhury 3-24)
Bangladesh: 162 for 5 off 33.1 overs (S. Rahman 44, M. Hossain 35; N. Pascal 4-53)
Man of the Match: Shamsur Rahman (Bangladesh)
View Scorecard >>

Filed February 16 2006