Cricket

Confident Bangladesh ready to take on rejuvenated West Indies

Big Picture

West Indies have already sealed a spot in the tri-series final, while Bangladesh beat them in their previous face-off in the tournament. Ireland, the hosts, have lost two of their three matches, with one washed out, and if Bangladesh beat West Indies on Monday, the home side will be out of the running for a spot in the final. Ireland, therefore, will follow the goings-on in Malahide on Monday with interest, but the competing teams will have more at stake than just tournament standings – there is the World Cup looming, and Bangladesh and West Indies have a few areas they will want to improve on.

West Indies have blown hot and cold in this tri-series. Between beating Ireland convincingly in the first game and in a more closely fought encounter in the fourth, they lost handily to Bangladesh.

In the match against Bangladesh, Shai Hope followed his first-game century with another one. But he might have wanted to accelerate sooner than he did. West Indies also ended up making only 64 runs in the last ten overs, and their bowlers were blunted once Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar got off to a good start for Bangladesh.

However, they put that defeat behind them to complete their highest successful run chase in ODIs after Ireland had put up 327 for 5, with Sunil Ambris smashing 148. West Indies have had four centuries in the tournament so far, though one of the centurions – John Campbell – hasn’t been seen in action since his first-match 179, sitting out with a sore back.

Bangladesh have had only one full game, and it resulted in an eight-wicket win with plenty to spare against West Indies. Tamim and Soumya put on 144 for the opening stand then before Shakib Al Hasan took control of the chase.

Bangladesh will also be quietly confident after seeing their bowling improve as the game progressed. Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Saifuddin took crucial wickets, while Shakib and Mehidy Hasan gave them control in the middle overs. Mustafizur Rahman’s form was a concern, but there is still enough time before the World Cup to address that problem.

Form guide

West Indies: WLWWL (Last five completed matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh: WLLLW

In the spotlight

Shannon Gabriel, playing his first ODI series in 18 months, has taken six wickets in three matches so far. The Bangladesh batsmen took 58 off his ten overs, but because of how much Gabriel dominated them in the Tests last year, they will certainly be wary of him.

There’s always a question-mark hanging over Soumya Sarkar, but having made 73 in the previous West Indies game, the management will have greater confidence while picking him as Tamim’s opening partner. Soumya, too, will be glad that the long tour of Ireland and England has started on the right note.

Team news

After a good win against Ireland, there might not be much reason to change the XI, but West Indies could perhaps consider bringing in Raymon Reifer, the 28-year old allrounder from Barbados, especially with Fabian Allen bowling only three overs in the previous game.

West Indies (probable): 1 Sunil Ambris, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Roston Chase, 5 Jonathan Carter, 6 Jason Holder (capt), 7 Fabian Allen, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Their last game against Ireland was abandoned, and Bangladesh are likely to continue with the same line-up that beat West Indies by eight wickets.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mohammad Mithun, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Mohamad Saifuddin, 9 Mehidy Hasan, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Pitch and conditions

The fourth game of the tri-series, on Saturday, showed that the pitch was a batting beauty, with West Indies successfully chasing Ireland’s 327 for 5. That promises a run-filled game this time too, although it is likely to be cloudy.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh have won four of their last five ODIs against West Indies.

  • West Indies have had four individual centuries in an ODI series or tournament for the first time since the 2006 Champions Trophy.

  • West Indies’ 331 for 5 against Ireland in the previous game was their highest successful chase in an ODI.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1184213.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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