West Indies virtually knockout Bangladesh
Sharjah, Oct 29: Defending champions West Indies kept alive their slender hopes of making the semifinals while virtually knocking Bangladesh out of the T20 World Cup with a narrow three-run win here on Friday.
Asked to set a target for the third consecutive time in the tournament, West Indies posted 142 for seven with Nicholas Pooran’s 40 off 22 balls being the highlight of their innings.
The wicketkeeper batter hit four sixes and one four.
Roston Chase (39), making his T20 international debut, was the other chief contributor with the bat.
In reply, Bangladesh could manage 139 for five in 20 overs as all West indies bowlers picked one wicket each.
With no points from three matches, Bangladesh are out of the tournament, while West Indies can still sneak into the semifinals, provided they win their remaining matches and other results go in their favour.
Bangladesh began the chase on a poor note, losing openers Mohammad Naim (17) and Shakib Al Hasan (9), who was limping, in the first six overs. But gradually picked up the momentum with wicketkeeper batter Liton Das (44 off 43) taking the initiative.
With 50 need off the last six overs with six wickets in hand, skipper Mahmudullah (31 not out) and Das looked to be in control, converting ones into twos while also hitting boundaries regularly.
Needing 13 of the last over, Mahmudullah failed to clear the boundary even once despite being dropped by substitute Andre Fletcher in the fourth ball to bring down the equation to four off the last ball.
But Andre Russell (1/29) bowled a gem of a final delivery full outside the off stump, denying Mahmudullah any chance to free his arms to seal a close win for West Indies.
Meanwhile, West Indies stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran said regular captain Kieron Pollard’s last-ball six after returning to bat following a break eventually made all the difference in their three-run win over Bangladesh in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here on Friday.
Kieron Pollard (14 not out) retired ill in the 13th over but the reasons for his walking out at that stage were not clear. He, however, came back in the final over to hit a last ball six after seven batter of his side were packed off.
Pooran, who managed the entire second innings, refused to divulge much on Pollard’s health.