Half-centuries from Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful trumped a maiden one-day international hundred from Travis Dowlin, and inspired Bangladesh to a three-wicket victory over West Indies in the second ODI on Tuesday to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.
It was Bangladesh's first-ever away one-day series triumph. This win comes on the back of a clean sweep by the Tigers in the two-match Test series with the third last one-dayer to be played tomorrow in St. Kitts, followed by a single T20 match at the same venue on August 2.
Shakib, the Bangladesh captain, struck 65 from 61 balls to earn the Man-of-the-Match award, and his predecessor as skipper Ashraful scored 64 from 77 balls, as the Tigers successfully chased 275 for victory in the match at Windsor Park.
Left-hander Abdur Razzak sealed the result with six balls to spare, when he top-edged a pull at a short, wide ball from Dave Bernard Jr to third man for four.
It was Bangladesh's highest successful run chase in their 200th ODI, and the victory followed their first-ever against West Indies by 52 runs on Sunday at the same venue.
But the Tigers stumbled through their chase, after Dowlin struck an even, undefeated 100 to help West Indies post 274 for six from their allocation of 50 overs.
They made a steady start and then wobbled on 64 for two before Ashraful featured in two successive half-century stands that stabilised the innings and put Bangladesh firmly on course.
Ashraful added 52 for the third wicket with Rokibul Hasan, and then 74 for the fourth wicket with Shakib before he was caught at long-off off leg-spinner Rawl Lewis in the 37th over with 85 still needed.
But there was plenty of drama in the closing stages, as Bangladesh would lose Shakib, Mahmudullah, and Mushfiqur Rahim, and West Indies would lose the services of key fast bowler Kemar Roach after he bowled two beamers.
Earlier, Bangladesh too, lost control in the closing overs of the West Indies innings.
The Tigers have cruelly exposed the limitations of the batting of the makeshift West Indies side with their spin bowling in the preceding two Tests, and the first ODI, but Dowlin flipped the script with six fours and one six in a 117-ball knock.
He reached his hundred, when he steered a delivery from Syed Rasel into square cover for a single.
Dowlin had laboured 88 balls over 50 which he reached, when he swept Shakib to backward square leg for two, as the four Bangladesh spinners managed to keep things steady in the middle overs.
But Bangladesh leaked 98 runs in the last 10 overs, including 50 in the Batting Power Play between the 40th and 44th overs, to give West Indies a late boost, after they had limped to 176 for five.
Dowlin led the charge, but Rawl Lewis gathered a vital 22 from 27 balls in a sixth wicket stand of 64 from 40 balls, and Darren Sammy made a crucial 24 from 19 balls, as West Indies made 29 from the last 15 balls of the innings.
PM GREETS CRICKETERS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the players of Bangladesh cricket team, its captain, coach and management on their clinching the first-ever one-day international (ODI) series victory against West Indies, reports UNB.
In a message yesterday she mentioned that Bangladesh's cricket embarked upon its new journey in the arena of world cricket in 1997 through winning ICC Champions Trophy in Malaysia.
In 1999, the cricketers brought satisfactory results from the World Cup Cricket participating in the tournament for the first time. Later, in 2000 the country achieved test status following sincere efforts of the then Awami League government.
“Bangladesh achieves success in sports arena when AL assumes power. Wining ODI series alongside the recent test achievement against West Indies in their land are in continuity of the success," PM said.
Hasina urged the members of the cricket team to maintain the winning tempo in the days ahead.
State Minister for Sports Md Ahad Ali Sarker and Md Zahid Ahsan Russel, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on youth and sports affairs, also greeted the Bangladesh team.