Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan did the job with the bat before the bowlers kept their calm to stop the Windies 12 short in second Twenty20 International.
It was a heart-stopper all right, the second game of the three-match series, going down all the way to the last over before Bangladesh held their nerves and the world champions didn’t. Asked to bat first, the visitors put up 171/5 riding on rapid half-centuries from Iqbal and Shakib. The Windies were in the game for long stretches of their chase, but eventually finished on 159/9.
The action was in the United States of America, at Lauderhill in Florida, and Bangladesh, 1-0 down after a deflating loss in the first game, were asked to take first strike.
BANGLADESH WIN! 🙌
A strong batting performance followed by some cool bowling power Shakib Al Hasan & Co. to a series-levelling win over the Windies. #WIvBAN SCORECARD 👇https://t.co/2Q6yxmaTFB pic.twitter.com/Rj1a9pD2G0
— ICC (@ICC) August 5, 2018
Unlike the first game, when Ashley Nurse got first go with the ball and picked up two wickets in the first over, Samuel Badree had the new ball this time. But Nurse still struck in his first over, Liton Das sending him to Carlos Brathwaite at extra cover.
And then Nurse got Mushfiqur Rahim in his second over, a reverse sweep going straight to point, where Andre Russell took the catch.
Soumya Sarkar, batting at No.4 in a rejigged batting order, also didn’t last long, but then Iqbal got Shakib for company, and the two changed the complexion of the game completely. In just more than eight overs together, Iqbal and Shakib slammed 90 runs to put Bangladesh firmly in the driver’s seat and put them on course for 1-1.
Shakib was the early aggressor, a couple of boundaries in the 10th over, bowled by Keemo Paul, was followed by three in one over from Kesrick Williams. The runs kept coming, Rovman Powell dropping Iqbal not helping the Windies either, and Iqbal made it better for Bangladesh with a 22-run over off Russell – the sequence of 6, 0, 6, 4, 6 ending with ‘W’ as Iqbal holed out at long-on after scoring a 44-ball 74.
The Bangladesh captain, however, carried on till the last over, getting to his first T20I half-century since 2016, before falling in the last over for 60, scored off just 38 balls.
That left the Windies on 33/2, and they couldn’t really get a move on when they lost Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin too, Shakib getting rid of the former and Rubel Hossain the latter.
It was tricky terrain, with neither Andre Fletcher nor Powell quite able to get a move on, and the total was 76/4 at the halfway stage – 96 needed from 60.
It was getting tricky, and soon after he hit Rahman for a muscular six, Brathwaite was gone, his opposite number Shakib getting the big man to hole out at long-on, where Das took a smart catch. It was an outstanding over, in fact, as Shakib conceded just three runs, and the Windies now needed 39 from 18.
The pressure was clearly on, and it told when Powell swung hard at a short one angled across from Rahman, nicking to Rahim, who held an excellent catch to send the danger man back for 43 in 34 balls.
But it was still not over, as Nurse swung Rahman for six and four off the last two balls of penultimate over, to leave 15 runs to get off the last over. But Islam was outstanding, as kept his cool to trump the Windies lower-order hitters. Nurse and Paul both perished in trying to go big, and Islam conceded just two runs, and Bangladesh had won their first game after five losses in a row.
The third game will be played at the same venue on Monday.