Tour review

Bangladesh v West Indies in Bangladesh, 2011-12

Utpal Shuvro

Test matches (2): Bangladesh 0, West Indies 1
One-day internationals (3): Bangladesh 1, West Indies 2
Twenty20 internationals (1): Bangladesh 1, West Indies 0


West Indies celebrate their win, Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5th day, November 2, 2011
West Indies did win both the Test and 50-over series, but they were nowhere near as one-sided as that 2009 tour of the Caribbean © Associated Press
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The West Indians arrived in Bangladesh on a mission. Some depicted it as revenge, although their captain Darren Sammy repeatedly protested that was "not a word I like to associate with sports". Sammy was understandably diplomatic, but retribution of a sort must have been somewhere in his mind after the events of 2009, when he was the vice-captain of a second-string West Indies team, thrown together in a matter of hours after the leading players withdrew as a result of a long-running contracts dispute: they were whitewashed by Bangladesh in both the Test and one-day series.

Sammy arrived for this tour with a young team, still lacking Chris Gayle who remained in dispute with the board, and said he wanted to win every match. It didn't quite pan out that way: West Indies did win both the Test and 50-over series, but they were nowhere near as one-sided as that 2009 tour of the Caribbean. Bangladesh won the only Twenty20 international in style, also took the last match of the one-day series, and were in charge for most of the rain-ruined First Test.

The one-day victory was especially sweet for Bangladesh, helping them to exorcise the demons of a humiliating defeat in the World Cup seven months previously, when they were bowled out for 58 and the West Indian team bus was pelted with stones while leaving the stadium in Mirpur. This time it was West Indies who were bundled out for a paltry total - 61, their second-lowest in one-day internationals.

The tourists had won the first two matches easily enough, and Sammy was shocked after the stunning turnaround in Chittagong: "We never saw it coming after such good batting in the first two matches," he said with a rueful smile. It was doubly disappointing for Sammy: a whitewash would have given West Indies four extra ranking points in the ICC's one-day table, but a 2-1 scoreline added nothing. Still, by the end of the tour Sammy was even more cheerful than usual, not least after the victory at Mirpur that clinched the two-Test series. Always amusing at press conferences, he wondered at the end of the last one: "Did I entertain?"

A series win over Bangladesh would not have meant much to West Indies a few years ago, but times have changed. Here, with an inexperienced top order and a thin bowling attack, they faced a tricky battle in conditions heavily favouring the hosts. For that reason, their first away win since beating Zimbabwe in November 2003 was well worth celebrating. The fact remains, though, that West Indies' last overseas series victory outside Bangladesh and Zimbabwe was back in 1994-95, when they beat New Zealand.

For Bangladesh, the series introduced a new regime. Shakib Al Hasan and his vice-captain Tamim Iqbal had been made scapegoats for the disastrous tour of Zimbabwe in August, when the one-day series and solitary Test were both lost. Mushfiqur Rahim, the diminutive wicketkeeper, was entrusted to lift the team, and he responded well.

On his debut as captain he won the Twenty20 match almost single-handedly and, although there were perhaps a few slips in his keeping, he batted with responsibility throughout and had a calming influence in the dressing-room. Neither was he afraid to speak his mind. After the Test series - when Bangladesh's batsmen, for the umpteenth time, failed to show sufficient patience or determination - Mushfiqur hit the nail on the head: "We don't play long innings in Tests; we lack the temperament. You need to play long innings if you want to win or draw a Test match. You have to make it a habit. Because of the poor standard of our first-class cricket, we have been struggling in Test cricket for the last ten years."

Match reports for

Tour Match: Bangladesh Cricket Board XI v West Indians at Fatullah, Oct 7, 2011
Scorecard

Tour Match: Bangladesh Cricket Board XI v West Indians at Fatullah, Oct 9, 2011
Scorecard

Only T20I: Bangladesh v West Indies at Dhaka, Oct 11, 2011
Scorecard

1st ODI: Bangladesh v West Indies at Dhaka, Oct 13, 2011
Scorecard

2nd ODI: Bangladesh v West Indies at Dhaka, Oct 15, 2011
Scorecard

3rd ODI: Bangladesh v West Indies at Chittagong, Oct 18, 2011
Scorecard

1st Test: Bangladesh v West Indies at Chittagong, Oct 21-25, 2011
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: Bangladesh v West Indies at Dhaka, Oct 29-Nov 2, 2011
Report | Scorecard

© John Wisden & Co.