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Shakib stars as Bangladesh level T20 series vs West Indies

December 20, 2018

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Captain Shakib Al Hasan produced a career-best 5-21 for Bangladesh to beat the West Indies by 36 runs and level their three-match Twenty20 series 1-1 on Thursday.

Shakib also provided vital late runs when Bangladesh batted first, his 26-ball 42 studded with five fours and one six lifting them to a more-than-competitive 211-4 and their second highest T20 total in the day-night match.

West Indies was in the chase at 98-3 in the 11th over until Shakib took three wickets in eight deliveries with his left-arm spin. West Indies was all out for 175 in 19.2 overs.

“Always, it is special to contribute in the team’s victory, whether it is in batting or bowling,” Shakib said. “Having said that, five wickets don’t matter, what matters is that we won an important game.”

After losing the first T20 by eight wickets, Bangladesh kept alive its ambition of winning all three series formats following its 2-0 win in the tests and 2-1 win in the one-day internationals.

The series-deciding third T20 is on Saturday.

Opener Liton Das launched Bangladesh by smashing 60 off 34 balls, his second half-century laced with six fours and four sixes after West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite opted to bowl first, keeping the dew factor in mind.

Das kept the scoreboard ticking over following the dismissal of senior opener Tamim Iqbal, who struggled with his timing, for 15.

Bangladesh was set back when West Indies fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas varied their pace to claim three wickets for 10 runs, reducing Bangladesh to 120-4.

But Shakib and Mahmudullah, who was 43 not out, added an undefeated 91 off 42 balls for the fifth wicket to ensure the rapid start provided by Das wasn’t wasted.

The captain then triggered a West Indies collapse when the visitors appeared to have the upper hand.

Fast bowler Abu Haider snagged opener Evin Lewis for 1 but Shai Hope, fresh from the third fastest T20 half-century, hit six boundaries in 19 deliveries to score 36.

When Nicholas Pooran was out to Shakib, caught on 14 by Tamim Iqbal, Hope slowed down. There was relief all round by Bangladesh when Hope departed to offspinner Mehidy Hasan, and West Indies was 62-3 in the sixth over.

Rovman Powell and Shimron Hetmyer were threatening, but Shakib turned the match toward Bangladesh again when he dismissed Hetmyer (19), Darren Bravo (2) to catches, and got Carlos Brathwaite (8) stumped.

He then became only the third Bangladeshi bowler to take five-for in T20 cricket after Elias Sunny in 2012 and Mustafizur Rahman in 2016 by bowling Fabian Allen for a duck when the ball skidded on the dew.

“With the large amount of dew, it wasn’t easy to grip the ball but we showed lot of character and stuck to our plan,” Shakib said.

“It was a good team effort, everyone chipped in. The win gives us confidence ahead of the third game.”

With wickets tumbling around him, Powell fought alone until he was eighth man out for 50 off 34 balls.

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