SHARJAH: Nicholas Pooran on Friday said West Indies backed their “experience” to edge out Bangladesh by three runs in a last-ball thriller to keep their hopes of retaining the Twenty20 World Cup title alive with their first win.
Bangladesh needed 13 off the 20th over bowled by Andre Russell but fell just short on 139 for five in Sharjah to lose their third straight Super 12 match, all but ending their chances of making the semi-finals.
Dwayne Bravo had struck a huge blow when he took the wicket of Bangladesh’s top scorer Liton Das, who was on 44, with the final ball of the 19th over.
Earlier Pooran, who led the side while fielding after skipper Kieron Pollard sat out through illness, hit 40 off 22 deliveries to lift West Indies to 142 for seven after being sent in to bat.
“It’s tough managing all the players, but everyone gives me full support,” said man of the match Pooran.
“All hands on the deck on field. Unfortunately we didn’t really take all our catches, but the belief was there. We backed our experience to close out the game.”
Liton and Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah took it almost down to the wire before the former departed and then Russell held his nerve in the final over to give the West Indies a crucial win.
Jason Holder also played a key part after his five-ball 15 with the bat when he took the catch on the boundary to cut short Liton’s innings.
“If Liton’s last shot would have been six — I thought it was probably six, but that’s an advantage when you have 6’5″ or 6’7″ tall fielder (Holder) in your outfield who can catch,” Mahmudullah told reporters.
“So I think probably that was one crucial moment in that catch.”
Russell denied Mahmudullah any boundary in the 20th over and finished off with a yorker as West Indies won for the first time after losses to England and South Africa.
Bangladesh, who made the Super 12s after getting through the qualifying stage, had already lost their opening two group games Sri Lanka and England but had loud and cheering fans backing them at the venue.
“Definitely we’ll play for our pride,” said Mahmudullah ahead of the last two group games.
“We’ve been trying hard and hard to get a win. Two more games to go. We’ll put our everything definitely to win these last two games.”
– Gayle opens –
The Bangladesh bowlers had the upper hand earlier in the innings removing the out of form Chris Gayle for four.
Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman took two wickets each.
The two-time champions suffered a double blow in the 13th over when Pollard retired ill and Russell was run out for nought.
After coming in for a hammering by Pooran, who smashed four sixes, Bangladesh came back with Shoriful taking down Pooran and then Roston Chase on successive balls.
Pollard (14) returned to sign off the innings with a six but did not come back to field.
Bangladesh started their reply cautiously with opening pair Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammed Naim kept in check.
Russell sent Shakib trudging back to the pavilion for nine after the batsman survived a dropped catch on the previous ball.
Holder bowled Naim in the next over to put Bangladesh on the backfoot and the Tigers slipped to 60-3 when Soumya Sarkar departed.
Liton kept one end occupied and together with Mushfiqur Rahim kept them in the hunt.
Ravi Rampaul broke the partnership after he bowled Mushfiqur, who failed to execute a scoop shot and the ball crashed on to the stumps.
Liton and Mahmudullah put on 40 for the fifth wicket to again raise hopes of a turnaround but two-time champions West Indies closed it out.
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