Jason Mohammed ended the dismal Bangladesh tour as the recently-installed One Day International (ODI) West Indies skipper with a disappointing clean sweep of defeats yesterday (25 January).
The tourists were embarrassingly toppled by 120 runs as their three-match series came crashing down in Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS), and leaves the Windies facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the World Cup.
At least Mohammed (Trinidad & Tobago) isn’t part of the Test squad that faces buoyant Bangladesh next month for two games, which will offer the Windies a shot at redeeming their reputation after recent tepid Tours to England and New Zealand respectively.
Mohammed, who replaced regular ODI captain Kieron Pollard (Trinidad) as such a large contingent turned down the opportunity to tour, was always going to be presented with a stiff task because he was relying on such an untried squad full of debutants.
Having been farcically poor in the opening two ODI games at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Dhaka’s Mirpur, it came as no surprise that they were outplayed once more.
Lacking confidence, cohesion and ability with either bat or ball meant the tourists were always on a hiding to nothing.
Yet Antigua’s paceman Alzarri Joseph drew first blood in the latest contest, dismissing Liton Das leg before in the first over. Barbados’ Kyle Mayers repeated the feat on Nazmul Hossain in the ninth over, to leave Bangladesh in the precarious position of 38-2.
But sure enough Bangladesh bounced back before their 93-run stand between skipper Tamim Iqbal (64) and Shakib Al Hasan (51) was broken by Joseph, with Akeal Hosein (Trinidad) superbly catching the opener. All rounder Shakib soon followed, clean bowled by Raymon Reifer (Barbados).
The pair of confident tourists combined for the next wicket, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (64) caught by Joseph off Reifer with the score standing at a mammoth 251-5 off 46.2 overs.
Soumya Sarkar was run out by Hosein, but a steady unbeaten knock of 64 from Mahmudullah steadied the side to post a formidable 297-6.
With the Windies having been bowled out for less than this total following their combined shambolic innings of 122 and 148 respectively in the opening pair of ODIs, this really was mission impossible for Mohammed and his inexperienced troops.
Only Kingston’s all rounder Rovman Powell, who struck 47 off 49 balls with a pair of fours and a couple of sixes to finish as top-scorer, ended with any creditability as the Windies struggled at the crease before succumbing at 177 all out off 44.2 overs.
Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman (2-24) started the rot, dismssing Kjorn Ottley (Trinidad) for one and then removing Sunil Ambris (St. Vincent) for the third successive time in the ODI series.
The tourists were run ragged, by Mehidy Hasan (2-18) and Mohammad Saifuddin (3-51), who stuttered to 93-5 and incredibly lost their final three wickets for just three runs.
With this three-game series part of the ICC World Cup Super League, which determines qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India, the Windies don’t have much of a chance of making it through.
At least the format alters now for the tourists, who have the luxury of calling on a slightly different set of players that will warm-up for the two Tests with a friendly in M.A. Aziz Stadium, Chattogram starting on Friday.
The Windies should not be quaking in their boots for this encounter, and maybe should be focusing on the pair of Tests (3-7 February and 11-15 February) as potentially the start of a new era when normal service could be resumed and the mighty tourists are the one of the most fearsome at cricket.
WI Tour schedule
20 January | 1st ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
Bangladesh (125-4) beat WI (122 all out) by six wickets
22 January | 2nd ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
Bangladesh (149-3) beat WI (148 all out) by seven wickets
25 January | 3rd ODI, ZACS, Chattogram
Bangladesh (297-6) beat WI (177 all out) by 120 runs
28-31 January | Four day warm-up match, M.A. Aziz Stadium, Chattogram
3-7 February | 1st Test Match, ZACS, Chattogram
11-15 February | 2nd Test Match, SBNCS, Dhaka
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