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October 18, 2011
West Indies endured a day of shock, as they were bowled out for 61 - their second-lowest score in ODIs. The performance, that lasted just 22 overs, was a result of pathetic application on a track that had its fair share of demons for those teams wary of spin. The straw-coloured pitch at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium - under covers more than 15 hours due to the threat of overnight rain - offered bounce to the seamers and turn and bite for the slow bowlers.
"The wicket here has always helped pace bowlers as well as providing turn for the spinners," Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, said after his team's eight-wicket consolation win. "It wasn't any different today. It was under covers for 17-18 hours and the spinners bowled very well.
"In the last three matches, we couldn't get an early breakthrough; it is important in our home conditions against a good team. It was a big plus point for us today as they struggled playing spin."
Mushfiqur said a combination of factors contributed to his team's win. "Rain, winning the toss, the wicket, everything [had a role to play]. It is not a given that we'd win here. Our bowlers did what was expected of them. Overall, conditions were in our favour."
The ground is no stranger to low scores, however. The average score here is around 180, the average economy rate just above four an over and a lowest score of 44 by Zimbabwe; Bangladesh lost four wickets in the chase.
The outfield was poor as the large covers missed some big spots around the boundary. The super-sopper was hard at work for a couple of hours before the game when the covers were taken off following a light drizzle. Sawdust had to be brought on to help with the drying; the 30-minute delay was shorter than what was expected.
Not long after the start, there was a procession of West Indies batsmen towards the pavilion. Danza Hyatt and Marlon Samuels were dismissed by the seamers in quick succession and the batsmen who followed found it difficult to negotiate the turn or, at times, the lack of it, as some deliveries held their line. Nasir Hossain dislodged Kieran Powell with one that turned from off to leg, and Kieron Pollard fell next ball. Shakib Al Hasan took over and with his wily left-arm spin, finished with career-best figures in ODIs.
When asked if the result today will erase the memories of being bowled out for 58 against West Indies in the World Cup, Shakib said: "People forget everything right? It is a matter of time."
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in DhakaFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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