Dwayne Smith smashed 72 off 43 balls before spinner Samuel Badree claimed four for 15 as the West Indies thrashed hosts Bangladesh by 73 runs in a key World Twenty20 match in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The defending champions, who needed a win to stay in contention for the semi-finals after losing to India on Sunday, piled up 171-7 and then bowled out Bangladesh for a paltry 98 in the Super 10 Group 2 match.
Chris Gayle hit a run-a-ball 48 in an impressive batting display by the West Indies after the hosts won the toss and elected to field before a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
Bangladesh, playing their first match in the Super 10s after qualifying along with the Netherlands from the first round, faltered against pace and spin in the one-sided contest.
Left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie claimed two wickets off successive balls, including the vital one of Shakib Al Hasan, to reduce Bangladesh to 16-3 by the fourth over.
Badree, who had begun the slide by removing opener Tamim Iqbal for 5, sliced through the middle order with three wickets in his final over, the 11th of the innings.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 22 and tail-ender Mashrafe Mortaza made 19, but six batsmen failed to get to double figures in a poor batting display by the hosts.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was happy to see the team bounce back after the loss to India.
“This was a much better game for us,” Sammy said. “Chris and Smith batted well and then [the] bowlers bowled fantastically well. The win was important because it kept us in the loop for the semi-finals. These conditions are good for the slower bowlers. Santokie and Badree started off very well. It is hard to leave someone like Ravi Rampaul out, but you saw what Santokie did. It is good to have that sort of bench strength.”
Rahim, already under fire from the local media for the loss to minnows Hong Kong in the first round, rued another bad day in the field for his team.
“These losses really hurt,” Rahim said. “Today was another disappointing effort starting with our fielding, because we gave away a lot of cheap runs. To chase 172 you need a good start, but we lost wickets early and it became difficult from there on. We need the batsmen to have better shot selection. I hope we can do better in our remaining matches.”
Smith dominated an opening stand of 97 by slamming 10 fours and three sixes, outscoring the unusually dour Gayle, whose contribution to the partnership was 19.
Smith reached his half-century off 33 balls in the 10th over with a fourth consecutive boundary off spinner Sohag Gazi.
Gayle opened out after Smith’s dismissal in the 12th over, hitting two sixes and three fours, before holing out in the deep off Ziaur Rahman in the 19th.
The West Indies plundered 44 runs from the 17th to the 19th overs to move to 167-3, before losing four wickets in the final over bowled by seamer Al Amin Hossain.
India, Pakistan and Australia are also in the group, from which two advance to the semi-finals.