The gulf in hitting ability between Bangladesh and West Indies seen in the first T20I in Sylhet yesterday can best be depicted by numbers. In chase of 130, the first six overs of West Indies' innings yielded 7, 23, 15, 13, 15 and 18 runs.
In contrast, Bangladesh could collect more than 10 runs in an over only twice in the 19 overs they played before being all out for 129. The hosts hit two sixes and 15 fours; West Indies clobbered 10 sixes and eight boundaries in 10.5 overs, which is how long it took for them to chase down the total and complete a dominant eight-wicket win on an overcast day at the Sylhet International Stadium.
The 16 balls that Shai Hope -- who hit back-to-back tons in West Indies' ODI series loss against the same opponents -- took to complete his second T20I fifty was the third fastest in the format, behind Yuvraj Singh's 12 balls and Colin Munro's 14. He had hit Bangladesh out of the game as early as the second over, when the three sixes he hit off Mehedi Hasan Miraz brought the required runs down to 100. West Indies reached 91 after six overs and, against the run of play, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and vice-captain Mahmudullah Riyad bowled two good overs that resulted in Hope holing out to deep cover off the latter in the eighth over for a 23-ball 55 with six sixes and three fours.
Before that, Mohammad Saifuddin had Evin Lewis caught at long off the second ball of the fourth over, by which time West Indies had already reached 51. Neither wicket diminished the shower of sixes and in the 11th over, Keemo Paul hit Shakib for two sixes and a four before a leg bye gave them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The second and third T20Is will take place in Dhaka on December 20 and 22.
Earlier, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell took two early wickets inside the first six overs, after which Bangladesh were 54 for four -- a poor start from which they could not recover despite Shakib's fighting 43-ball 61. Tamim Iqbal departed first when he tried a cross-batted heave off Cottrell in the second over only for the top edge to find mid off.
Tamim's dismissal showed that it was possible to be hurried on the wicket, but the lesson was not learned by Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar, both of whom departed in the same manner -- Liton fell to Thomas in the third over and Soumya to Cottrell in the next over. Mushfiqur Rahim was run out in the sixth over, caught short at the non-striker's end by a Rovman Powell direct hit.
Mahmudullah Riyad stuck around to help Shakib add 25 for the fifth wicket, but became Cottrell's third wicket in the 11th over when he edged behind, leaving Bangladesh on 73 for five. Ariful Haque added 30 with Shakib but found deep square leg with a flat-batted slog sweep off Fabian Allen in the 16th over. Shakib, his favoured square cuts and shots square of the wicket serving him well, brought up his eighth T20I fifty with a six over deep midwicket in the same over off his 41st delivery.
Saifuddin did not support his skipper as he holed out to long on off Carlos Brathwaite in the next over. Shakib hit another six over long on off a Cottrell slower ball in the 18th over, but did not adjust when the pacer shortened his length in the next over and the top edge off the cross-batted shot was caught by the bowler running towards square leg.
With the score on 122 for eight, that ended all hopes of any competitiveness even before the innings was officially ended when Keemo Paul had Mehedi caught behind and Mustafizur Rahman bowled.