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July 28, 2009
Bangladesh celebrated their 200th ODI with their first ODI series win against West Indies, and Shakib Al Hasan, their stand-in captain, yet again played a major role in helping them achieve that feat. "I can't explain the feeling," Shakib, who was named Man of the Match for his crucial 65, said at the end of the game. "The boys have tried their best. The team has been supportive throughout the series, and so have the support staff, and we have done well."
Shakib was involved in two crucial partnerships in Bangladesh's chase of a challenging 275. He added 74 for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Ashraful, who, like Shakib, scored his second successive half-century. A 48-run stand with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim followed, which appeared to have sealed the game for Bangladesh before a flurry of wickets threatened to deprive them of victory.
West Indies' performance marked a major improvement from their previous game where the spinners had proved their undoing. "This was a good win, though," Shakib said. "It was much tougher. They really tested us, and they played our spinners really well."
The hosts were able to overcome the spin threat, thanks largely to a maiden ODI century from Travis Dowlin, who was involved in a steady stand of 62 with Devon Smith for the third wicket, and then opened up to help smash 98 in the last ten overs with support from the lower order. West Indies had thrown Bangladesh the challenge of chasing down their highest score for an ODI win, and Floyd Reifer, the captain, thought his team had managed enough. "We thought that 274 was a brilliant score," Reifer said. "Travis played really, really well for his hundred."
West Indies came into the game with five bowlers, and problems with two of them affected them at the death. Kemar Roach conceded 18 runs in the 42nd over, the first of the batting Powerplay, and bowled his second beamer of the game, which sent him out of the attack. The wicketkeeper Devon Thomas, as a result, had to step in to complete his spell while Darren Sammy bowled with an injured hamstring.
"We knew coming into the game with five bowlers we were taking a risk, and it did not help that we lost three of our bowlers at critical stages," Reifer said. "But I thought we played well and put in a big effort. There have been a lot of positives, which the guys can take from this series. It's a young team, and we all need to be patient with them."
The teams head to St Kitts for the final ODI and a Twenty20 international to round off the tour.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.