Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Khulna December 1, 2012

First hours of both innings crucial - Mortaza

The opening hour of both innings will go a long way in determining the result of the second ODI in Khulna, according to Bangladesh fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza. Bangladesh are at their most vulnerable when they bowl with the new ball to West Indies' power players, and when their best batsman Tamim Iqbal faces the opening overs against the fast bowlers.

The seven-wicket victory in Khulna was Bangladesh's eleventh win in an opening match of an ODI series. The previous time against West Indies was in the Caribbean in 2009, but the hosts were fielding a depleted team because of a dispute between the players and the WICB. They did it twice at home against New Zealand, but in only one of those series - October 2010 - did Bangladesh continue winning.

"The start is very important for us," Mortaza said, looking ahead to Sunday's match. "If we lose two-three wickets, we have to struggle a lot for the rest of the match, whether we bat first or not. It is a similar situation with the ball. We started very well yesterday, in the first five-six overs, even though we did not take wickets. Their [West Indies'] run-rate was kept under control."

Mortaza and the debutant Abul Hasan kept Chris Gayle and Lendl Simmons to 47 runs in the first 10 overs. Simmons was out lbw in the next over, when Mortaza darted the ball into the right-hand batsman. Gayle holed out in the deep in the 12th over, bowled by another debutant Sohag Gazi.

"With a batsman like Chris Gayle, there is a fear of what might happen if he starts hitting the ball well," Mortaza sais. "The plus side is that he may get out trying to force the pace. Their team will be under pressure as a result, something that happened yesterday. I think [Abul Hasan] Raju bowled well, though no one is talking about him because there are no wickets next to his name.

"If we can again keep their score within 50 runs in the first ten overs, it will set the platform for our spinners. We could have used four bowlers in the first ten overs, but we didn't let that happen."

The low scoring rate forced the West Indies batsman to continue playing shots but it was their undoing. Bangladesh held on to their catches and kept the pressure on to reduce West Indies to 133 for 8 in the 33rd over. They were eventually dismissed for 199.

Mortaza, however, said that there remained room for improvement. Bangladesh had given away too many runs to the West Indies tail, with Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul adding 57 for the ninth wicket, while Tamim and Anamul Haque could have made bigger scores. "We can improve our bowling a bit. In the batting too I think we can improve a little," he said. "We could have won the match more comfortably. It would have been better if the batsmen scored bigger, especially those who got out after being set."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent