Taijul roars back into ODIs
Bangladesh continued their dominance over the West Indies in the three-match ODI series and once again it was the spinners who paved the way for the Tigers, with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam leading the charge.
Taijul registered his maiden five-wicket haul to bundle out West Indies for a small total of 178 in the third and final ODI at the Providence Stadium in Guyana yesterday.
Taijul, who was the only change in the playing eleven as he replaced Shoriful Islam to make a comeback to the ODI format after 28 months, picked up his first wicket off the very first ball that he bowled yesterday to dismiss opener Brandon King.
Interestingly, the 30-year-old cricketer, who over the years has been considered the Tigers' specialist Test bowler, had made his mark in international cricket in the ODI format -- back in 2014 when he bagged a hat-trick on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe.
As skipper Tamim Iqbal once again won the toss and opted to field, it was clear that Taijul would be brought into the attack soon on a pitch that had aided the visiting spinners throughout the series.
\Introduced in the third over of the game, Taijul grabbed the opportunity instantly as his sharp turners had undone the Windies batters. He dismissed Shai Hope, the other Windies opener, with a classical left-armers' delivery -- a flighted ball enticing the right-hander to stretch forward only to turn away sharply and have the batter stumped. Stunned by the brilliant Taijul delivery, Hope walked back after scoring just two.
Before travelling to the West Indies, Taijul had said during an exclusive interview with The Daily Star that his main target will be to assess the pitch away from home and adapt accordingly. And the left-arm spinner seems to have waited for his opportunity and once he got that, he latched onto it.
"It is difficult if you have a set plan. Instead, you have to be flexible. My initial goal is to help the seamers by bowling tight. If the spinners get purchase, it's a different ball game," Taijul had said.
The cricketer from Natore went on to remove Keemo Paul and Rovman Powell next as West Indies were left reeling. It was skipper Nicholas Pooran who held the key for his side and scored fifty. But Taijul got the wicket of Pooran as well, bagging his maiden fifer with the big fish.
Pooran was beaten by yet another turning delivery from Taijul, which came into the left-handed batter as he tried to play across the line. With Pooran making no connection, the ball went on to hit the timber as the Windies skipper had to depart after a team-high 73 off 109 balls.
Taijul's experience played a crucial role in adapting to the condition and the pitch as he tried to give more air to the ball to get purchase from the surface. He ended up with career-best ODI figures of 28 for five in 10 overs that included two maidens.
Apart from Taijul, another left-arm spinner Nasum also played a vital role with the ball for the Tigers. He bagged two wickets alongside Mustafizur Rahman.
SCORES IN BRIEF
178 all out in 48.4 overs (Carty 33, Pooran 73, Powell 18, Shepherd 19; Nasum 2-39, Mustafizur 2-24, Taijul 5-28, Mosaddek 1-23)
179 for 6 in 48.3 overs (Tamim 34, Liton 50, Mahmudullah 26, Mosaddek 14, Nurul 31 not out, Miraz 16 not out; Motie 4-23)
Result: Bangladesh won by 4 wickets.