It was the highest partnership of the innings, which spoke volumes of how Bangladesh kept West Indies under control. But their top-order has to take responsibility to turn things around, and not just wait for fours and sixes. Rather than playing out so many dot balls and going through huge gaps without boundaries, West Indies might be better served focusing on rotating the strike. It often unsettles a bowler’s rhythm more than the odd boundary in an over.
Bangladesh’s bowlers have stood out throughout this West Indies tour. Shoriful Islam led the way with the wickets in the first ODI but Mustafizur Rahman’s early breakthrough, removing Shai Hope who averages 90-plus against Bangladesh, and the tight spells from Taskin Ahmed worked perfectly for the visitors. Mehidy Hasan Miraz is one of the higher ranked offspinners in ODIs these days, while Nasum Ahmed, on debut, seemed to be at home in the format already.
But it hasn’t been a great tour for the batters. Tamim started well with a quickfire 30-odd, but running himself out was a strange way to get out when fully settled. Najmul Hossain Shanto, who the team felt deserved to be the first choice in the absence of other senior batters, also got out in the thirties.
Mahmudullah eventually took them to the six-wicket win, but he also looked iffy at times. He got out to Pooran but the part-timer had bowled a no-ball. He wasn’t at ease against Pooran too, playing far too cautiously. The pitch may have played a part but Nurul Hasan at the other end looked more comfortable.
Bangladesh will also be concerned about their catching. Even when they were on top, with West Indies on 96 for seven, they dropped four relatively easy catches.
Both teams have several areas to work on. It gives the ODI series a different texture to other more big-scoring events currently taking place around the world. West Indies have to cash in on Bangladesh’s cavalier mistakes and lapses of concentrations, while the visitors must bowl tightly enough to cover all their batting and fielding problems.
West Indies: LLLLW (Last five completed matches; most recent first)
In the spotlight
How Bangladesh play spin is worth keeping an eye on, but it will be more interesting to see how the West Indies manage to bowl around Akeal Hosein during the second game. Hosein has been among the top three wicket-takers in ODIs since his debut last year. As with most left-arm spinners, his accuracy and subtle use of spin has stood out. West Indies must use him at the right time to ensure Bangladesh, who are usually quite adept at playing left-arm spin, have to tackle Hosein under pressure.
Shoriful Islam wasn’t adjudged the player-of-the-match despite making a big impact on Bangladesh’s win with his career-best 4-34 in the first game. He took his wickets in two double-wicket overs, and bowled generally quite economically. Shoriful has been the selectors’ go-to bowler in all formats, which is already having an impact on his fitness. After returning from a finger injury, he has played in the three formats here, so it will be interesting how the team management utilizes him in the remaining matches.
West Indies will likely give the same side a go so that the batters find a bit of time to get back among the runs. They are also likely to keep the spin-based bowling attack.
West Indies (probable): 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Shai Hope, 3 Shamarh Brooks, 4 Brandon King, 5 Nicholas Pooran (capt & wk), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Romario Shepherd, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Gudakesh Motie, 10 Anderson Phillip, 11 Jayden Seales
Bangladesh too are most likely to keep their winning XI intact, barring any last-minute injuries.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal (capt), 2 Liton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Afif Hossain, 6 Nurul Hasan (wk), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Taskin Ahmed, 9 Nasum Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
Batting wasn’t easy during the first ODI. Bangladesh’s fast bowlers shared five wickets while West Indies used spinners for almost 80 per cent of their overs. The weather forecast remains rainy.
Stats and Trivia
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84