West Indies showed how big a challenge they will pose to Bangladesh in the five-match ODI series beginning on Friday when they crushed a BCB XI by 118 runs in their lone warm-up game at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
It was a very fulfilling warm-up for the visitors, with all their batsmen, some of whom have only recently joined the squad as one-day specialists, spending quality time out in the middle as the team posted a mammoth 361 for seven after winning the toss.
They played without the likes of captain Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and the ever-entertaining Chris Gayle. The crowd, which was far greater in number than during Bangladesh's practice match the previous day, would have been disappointed by Gayle's non-participation, although they did get to see the superstar in the unfamiliar role of drink ferrying.
Opener Lendl Simmons, after being dropped at mid-on while just on 20, capitalised on his fortune and struck a stroke-filled 84 off 81 balls with twelve fours and two sixes. Fellow opener Kieron Powell, Dwayne Smith and Darren Bravo all scored 30s, with only Smith having a strike rate of less than hundred. Smith was third out in the 26th when he missed a slog-sweep against leg-spinner Marshal Ayub to have his stumps rattled. But that brought in stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard who only stepped up the carnage with his big hits.
The visitors' innings further showcased the problems that spinners may have with the new ODI rules stating that a minimum of five fielders must be inside the 30-yard circle during non-Powerplay overs as the spin trio of Elias Sunny (3-71), Ayub (2-63), and Enamul Haque Jr (0-58) all proved expensive. Special punishment was reserved for pacer Mohammad Al-Amin, who was dispatched for 90 in his nine overs, with Pollard plundering 20 from one over, the 31st of the innings.
Pollard's dismissal, caught off Sunny for a 28-ball 44 that featured five fours and two sixes, off the last ball of the 35th over with the score on 236 for five gave wicketkeeper Devon Thomas a chance to get used to the conditions, and he grabbed the opportunity with the bowling side gasping for breath. Together with bowlers Veerasammy Paul and Sunil Narine, Thomas fetched the team 125 runs in the last 15 overs, his share being an unbeaten 61 off 43 balls with five fours and three sixes.
The BCB XI were never in with a chance to chase the huge total against a quality attack, even though the pitch was a belter.
Opener Imrul Kayes scored 43 off 54 and Mominul Islam scored the same amount off 57 balls with his customary ease before being trapped in front by Kemar Roach, but the rate of scoring never threatened the visitors. Soon the BCB XI were trying to save face by playing out the fifty overs, and Sunny played valiantly in that regard with a 29-ball 37, but the second-string Bangladesh side were all out for 243 with five balls left in the match.
SCORES IN BRIEF
WEST INDIES: 361 for seven (Simmons 84, Thomas 61 not out, Pollard 44; Sunny 3-71, Ayub 2-63, Forhad, 2-68)
BCB XI: 243 all out in 49.1 overs (Kayes 43, Mominul 43, Sunny 37; Narine 3-47, Roach 2-40, Permaul 2-52)