Explosive batting from Marlon Samuels lifted World Twenty20 champions the West Indies to an 18-run win over Bangladesh in a high-scoring match at Shere Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
Samuels hit a 43-ball 85 not out to steer the champions to 197-4 in their 20 overs. While there was some blistering hitting from the home team’s openers, they only managed to reach 179-1 in reply.
Samuels’ strong performance peaked at the end of the West Indies innings when he hit 29 runs in their final over, which included three sixes and a four.
He narrowly escaped being caught twice, with the catch missed both times by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim off paceman Ziaur Rahman.
Rubel Hossain was threatening at the outset as he dismissed Chris Gayle in the third over for six and then had Dwayne Smith (24) in his next.
Darren Bravo also batted impressively for the West Indies, hitting two sixes and five boundaries during his rapid 28-ball 41, before he was stumped by Rahim off Sohag Gazi.
Kieron Pollard (15) and Lendl Simmons (18 not out) added to Samuels’ big score, as the tourists added 75 runs in the final overs.
Bangladesh’s openers were strong, with Tamim Iqbal hitting a 61-ball 88 and Mohammad Mahmudullah making 64.
However, the West Indies’ quality spin bowling proved too much for them, with Chris Gayle conceding just 18 runs in his four overs and Samuels conceding 32.
Bangladesh notched up 17 runs in each of the first and third overs. However, following Anamul Haque’s dismissal for a 12-ball 22, the West Indies’ spinners managed to limit their score.
Iqbal hit 10 boundaries and two sixes during his knock, while Mahmudullah notched up four sixes and three fours.
The defeat came after Bangladesh clinched the preceding five-match one-day-international series 3-2 on Saturday.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy was happy with the result.
“I am pleased with the outcome, we wanted to finish the year on a good note. Samuels’ innings reminded me of the World Twenty20 final,” Sammy said of Samuels, who was man of the match at the final in Sri Lanka in October.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim conceded the last over was the turning point.
“The last over probably mattered, but cannot blame Rubel, because when Samuels hits he can do that to anyone. It was nice to see people scoring runs, especially in the top order, hope they continue in the same vein,” Rahim said.