Bangladesh's mode of attack switched from spin in the Tests to pace in yesterday's first ODI, but there was no change in the outcome as the hosts outclassed West Indies by five wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Tigers' better awareness and skill shone through first in restricting the visitors to a sub-par 195 for nine on a slow wicket. West Indies batsman Roston Chase admitted after the match that the team -- who combined to play 171 dot balls -- failed to adjust to the wicket and realise that the pacers were more difficult to score off in these conditions.
Bangladesh's greater awareness came to the fore again when the chase was looking shaky on 89 for three and Shakib Al Hasan got quick runs to calm the nerves while Mushfiqur Rahim provided assurance with an unbeaten 70-ball 55 that, in the company of Mahmudullah Riyad, took the side home with 89 balls to spare. The win was a special one as it came on the day that skipper and player-of-the-match Mashrafe Bin Mortaza became the first Bangladeshi to play 200 ODIs.
Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das started the chase in solid fashion, putting on 37 runs in eight overs. However Tamim was out to a soft dismissal in the last ball of the eighth over when he played early to off-spinner Roston Chase and was caught at cover for 12.
Before that, Liton was lucky in the seventh over when, batting on five, he flicked Kemar Roach straight down the throat of deep square leg, but was reprieved as replays revealed a no-ball.
Imrul Kayes, coming in at number three, did not last long. Oshane Thomas's pace proved too hot and the ball burst through bat and sluggish pad to bowl the left-hander.
Liton and Mushfiqur Rahim steadied the ship from 42 for two and added 47 runs before the inevitable rush of blood, swiping across the line to an innocuous Keemo Paul delivery, saw Liton bowled for a 57-ball 41.
Shakib and Mushfiqur took care of the butterflies with a 57-run partnership that was dominated by Shakib, who hit four boundaries in a 26-ball 30. Shakib was caught behind off Rovman Powell in the 27th over and that set the stage for Soumya Sarkar to come in and dazzle with some attractive shots during a 12-ball 19. Thomas's pace was not a problem in the 29th over, during which he hit the fast man for two fours and a six. The six was extra special as he ramped a bouncer clean over third man. The entertainment was short-lived, however, as Soumya departed in the next over, edging Chase to slip.
Earlier, Mashrafe led a thoroughly professional bowling effort, especially by the pacers.
The score could have been even less for West Indies as at the end of the 40th over, which saw Marlon Samuels dismissed by Rubel Hossain, they were 129 for six. A few lusty blows from Chase (32 off 38 balls) and Paul, who took 14 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Rubel, lifted the score towards respectability. Mustafizur Rahman then pulled things back in the last over, dismissing Paul (36 off 30) and Devendra Bishoo in an over that cost just two runs. Mustafizur ended with figures of 35 for three from 10 overs.
But it started with the captain. Mashrafe's 10 overs cost just 30 runs and yielded three West Indian wickets. He brought himself on in the 15th over of the innings and bowled seven overs on the trot for just 14 runs and two wickets.
Before that, it was the left-arm spin of Shakib Al Hasan, who opened the bowling along with off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz, that produced the first breakthrough when Kieran Powell top-edged a slog to be caught at cover in the eighth over. Mashrafe came in and bowled a near-perfect line and length, mixing his seam-up deliveries with slower off cutters on the sluggish Mirpur wicket. With Rubel and Mashrafe keeping things tight in tandem, the pressure got to Darren Bravo, who fell in the 21st over courtesy of a superlative fielding effort from Tamim Iqbal. Bravo miscued a lofted shot off Mashrafe and Tamim sprinted 20 yards inwards from long off to take a diving catch inches off the turf.
Mashrafe then accounted for Shai Hope in the 25th over when the right-hander slashed to point, where Mehedi took a sharp catch to his right. 78 for three became 93 for four in the 29th over when the talented Shimron Hetmyer fell to Mehedi for the fifth time in as many innings on tour as he tried to cut a full ball and was bowled. Mashrafe then came back to complete his quota, and dispatched his opposite number Powell by having him caught at mid off by Liton Das.
After Samuels, who hammered a lofted straight drive that looked to be heading over the ropes before Liton caught a sharp catch less than two feet from the long on ropes, Chase and Paul got together to resuscitate an innings that seemed headed for a score below 170.
While the bowling effort was near flawless, Bangladesh were wasteful in the field, dropping four chances. Bravo was dropped off Mustafizur when on 13 by Ariful Haque -- on the field at the time in place of Shakib -- at point in the 16th over. Mushfiqur Rahim was the culprit and Bravo again the beneficiary in the 20th over when the diving keeper failed to latch on to an edge off Rubel. Rubel was the unlucky bowler again when Samuels, on seven, hit over mid off where Mahmudullah Riyad was a little slow to move and could just get fingertips on the ball before it raced away for four in the 28th over. Rubel was however the culprit four overs later when he dropped an absolute sitter off Shakib at mid on, reprieving Powell on four.