Shakib-led Bangladesh make history yet again
Bangladesh are set to embark on a month-long tour in the West Indies this month to test their skills in all three formats against the home side, once an undisputed powerhouse of the game.
The first assignment for the Tigers and their new Test captain Shakib Al Hasan would be to turn the tides from the consecutive series defeats against South Africa and Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series at the Caribbean, slated to begin from June 16.
For this segment, we are only focusing on the three-match ODI series during Bangladesh's tour of the West Indies in 2009.
Shakib, Ashraful put on a show
The first ODI between West Indies and Bangladesh was the first-ever international match played in the island of Dominica at the new Chinese-funded Windsor Park venue. But the weakened West Indies side had no answer against the Tigers to make the occasion a memorable one for the home side.
The regular starters, who pulled out of the Test series that the hosts lost by 2-0 margin, had made themselves available for the one-day series, but the West Indies Cricket Board had already named a squad excluding them.
And Bangladesh capitalised on the opportunity as they clinched a 52-run victory at Roseau to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Fast bowler Kemar Roach took 5-44 after the hosts won the toss but Mohammad Ashraful (57) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (54) helped the Tigers score 246 for nine in their 50 overs.
The Windies were reeling at 8-2 after losing both openers but were given some hope by Devon Smith's 65 from 84 balls.
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, now a member of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) selection panel, turned the table on the visitors by taking four wickets for 39 runs as the Windies were skittled for 194 with more than six overs to spare.
The Shakib-Ashraful combo does it again
It appeared that every time they stepped on the field, Bangladesh seemed to be making history. After having beaten West Indies for the first time in Tests and ODIs, they sealed their first ODI series win against the hosts with one match in hand.
In the three-wicket victory at the Roseau, Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful played crucial roles in seeing Bangladesh through, helping the Tigers achieve their then highest successful chase in the limited-overs format.
Ashraful struck 64 and Shakib hit 65 as Bangladesh scored 276 for seven in reply to West Indies' 274 for five. Travis Dowlin made an unbeaten hundred, his maiden century, for the home team to put up the challenging total on the board.
At the centre of the accomplishment once again was Shakib, pulling West Indies back from a flying start, and then saw his team through a tricky chase with a calm fifty.
Ashraful, who got to back-to-back fifties for the first time since 2006, set up the Bangladesh reply after the openers struggled on a sluggish pitch that made it difficult to stroke the ball cleanly.
The Shakib-Ashraful combination outdid an exceptional effort from Dowlin, whose maiden international century could only lift a fledgling West Indies to a fighting total.
During the match, the cameras panned to a spectator reading a magazine article on Shakib, titled the "Ice Man". Shakib indeed played like one, but needed some luck on his side.
Junaid Siddique, Mahmudullah finish the job
Bangladesh wrapped up a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies with a three-wicket win in the final match in St Kitts.
Set to reach 249, opener Junaid Siddique put Bangladesh on course with 55 and despite a four for 63 from bowler Kemar Roach, Mahmudullah Riyad's unbeaten 51 at the death ensured the victory for the Tigers.