Spinners set up big Bangladesh win
Bangladesh 201 for 3 (Tamim 58, Naeem 50*) beat West Indies 199 (Narine 36, Gazi 4-29, Razzak 3-39) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Darren Sammy wanted West Indies to win the ODI series 5-0, but his team's batting revealed a self-destructive ability in the opening game in Khulna that shut out any hopes of a clean sweep. Instead, it was Bangladesh who were the winners, having beaten West Indies comprehensively despite the absence of their best player, Shakib Al Hasan, to injury. On a safely negotiable pitch, West Indies imploded against spin and lacked intensity in their defence of 199 after Tamim Iqbal delivered an attacking start to the chase. Offspinner Sohag Gazi shone again, picking up four wickets on ODI debut to follow up an impressive start to his Test career, and he was well supported by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who chipped in with three.
There was some early assistance for seamers on the Khulna track but the spinners, who wreaked the most havoc, didn't find much turn or bounce. West Indies were not victims of the conditions, but their own lack of restraint when the situation demanded more caution than they exercised. Three of their batsmen holed out in the deep, including Chris Gayle in the 11th over shortly after he had smashed two sixes and four fours off seamers Mashrafe Mortaza and Abul Hasan. Gayle had welcomed Gazi into Test cricket with a six off his first ball; he tried to repeat the dose off Gazi's second ball in ODIs, but found Tamim at long-on who back-pedalled and took a difficult catch over his head just inside the ropes.
Marlon Samuels drove at one that didn't spin from Gazi, and edged a catch to slip; it meant West Indies had lost two of their most dangerous limited-overs batsmen in a space of less than three overs. West Indies scored 48 in their first 10 overs, and 22 in the 11 that followed.
Darren Bravo searched for opportunities, cutting and sweeping the spinners and taking Naeem Islam for 17 in one over. But West Indies were to slip again, as Kieron Pollard struck a long hop straight to midwicket in the 23rd over and Bravo followed in the next, sent back by his partner Devon Thomas when it was too late to refuse an attempt at a single.
The wickets, though, didn't stagnate the innings. Sammy and Thomas picked up boundaries amid a steady flow of singles but their attacking instincts got the better of them. Sammy was caught by Naeem just in front of the ropes after he'd moved to 10. Andre Russell failed to pick an arm ball from Razzak before Gazi picked up his third, thanks to another needless shot - played this time by Thomas - to long-on to make it three wickets in four overs.
Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul pulled out West Indies from the depths of 133 for 8, waiting for the batting Powerplay at the end of the 35th over to push the scoring. Deliveries bowled on the pads were flicked past fine leg; Narine pierced, and even cleared, the in-field on the off side for boundaries while Rampaul imparted more power into his shots, swatting Abul over long-on and smacking Mortaza over midwicket. The 52-run stand ended when Rampaul gloved Razzak to the keeper, but it still left his team defending a seemingly testing target.
Bangladesh, however, made it look easy, with a strong foundation for a chase set by an 88-run opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and debutant Anamul Haque. Tamim's intent was evident as early as the first over during which he charged out to Samuels to dispatch him past mid-off. His partner Anamul chose to drop anchor, while Tamim was free-flowing in his shot-making. He drove Rampaul on either side of the wicket, smashed Samuels for a six over extra cover and tore into Kemar Roach. He didn't hesitate to step out to the seamers either, and Roach, whom he took for 16 in one over, was slammed over extra cover for a flat six that took Tamim to his half-century.
Anamul was more subdued; he didn't move his feet much unlike Tamim, but was harsh on deliveries that were pitched short and gave him enough room. He slashed Rampaul and Roach through point and grew confident to drive Narine through the covers. By the time Tamim cut Narine to offer a catch to point, Bangladesh had raced to 88 in 15 overs. Anamul added a further 24 with Naeem, who made a significant contribution himself, scoring a half-century and being involved in 40-plus stands with Nasir Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim. Bangladesh batted with assuredness in their reply, the ease with which they secured a win over a near full-strength West Indies side - with almost 10 overs to spare - is bound to boost their confidence for the upcoming games.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo