World T20 Results: Chris Gayle Struggles, But Smith, Bowlers Give West Indies Thumping Win over Bangladesh
By Deepak Vikraman | March 26, 2014 3:46 AM EST
This was as strange a T20 game as you can get, for one reason - Chris Gayle struggled to set the World T20 alight against Bangladesh, despite facing 48 balls, yes, no typo there.
While everyone, except the Bangladesh players and fans, were hoping for a little Gaylestorm, what came about was a nice soft gentle breeze, the kind of breeze that caused little worry, and lot of eyebrow-raising wondering if the spirit of Jimmy Adams had perhaps take over Gayle's body.
However, the lack of a Gaylestorm was offset by the thunder of Dwayne Smith, who made the onside his very own living room, with the right-hander proving to be the only batsman in the whole game to score any real runs of note.
Thanks to a sparkling 72 from Smith, West Indies somehow found their way to 171 for seven in their 20 overs, with Bangladesh, in reply, producing a train-wreck of an innings, all out for 98 in 19.1 overs - the opening bowlers Samuel Badree, a spinner, and Krishmar Santokie, slowest of slow mediums, impressing with the ball to give their side a 73-run win.
Bangladesh needed a strong beginning if they were going to make a game of it, but got off to an awful start, with both the openers falling early, while the misery was compounded by the dismissal of their best player Shakib Al Hasan soon after.
Tamim Iqbal was the first to fall, in the third over, holing out to Dwayne Bravo at mid-off while attempting an unnecessary lofted shot off Badree.
His opening partner Anamul Haque fell off the first ball of the next over, stumped thanks to the quick hands by Ramdin, with Krishmar Santokie (4-0-17-3) then picking up the prized wicket of Shakib, who was beaten all ends-up with the off-stump taking a walk, off the very next ball.
What followed was a procession of wickets - Bangladesh showing absolutely no fight, despite a capacity crowd roaring them on - with Samuel Badree making merry, finishing with immaculate figures of four for 15, while Dwayne Bravo, who fell for a first-ball duck in the first innings, chipped in with a couple more catches, one a one-handed stunner.
The first innings from the West Indies, who were comprehensively beaten by india in their first game, was strange to say the least, and a bizarre one from their star man Gayle. The only reason West Indies got to a score over 170 was due to an outstanding knock from Smith, who quickly banished the ghosts of that unbearable innings against India in the first match.
Gayle at the other end was struggling to time pretty much every delivery, which made Smith's slam-bang effort all the more important. The opener was severe on anything on the stumps, smashing the ball to the onside at every opportunity and carrying West Indies on his own in the first 11 overs -such a strange thing to say when Gayle is at the other end.
Apart from Smith, the rest of the West Indies batsmen struggled to accelerate the scoring, and once the right-handed opener departed, that impetus never really came with West Indies only managing a run rate of about ten in the final few overs thanks to some awful fielding from Bangladesh. Everything that came the home side's way went begging, barring a couple of outstanding catches from Tamim.
Smith (72, 43b, 10x4, 3x6) fell in the 12th over, top-edging one of Mahmudullah while attempting slog sweep over midwicket. What followed was a couple of strange decisions from West Indies with Lendl Simmons, at No. 3, and Marlon Samuels, at No. 4, coming in.
Simmons at least did not have time to get stuck at the crease, falling without facing a legal delivery, stumped by Mushfiqur after the right-hander missed a leg-side wide off Shakib Al Hasan.
Samuels (18 in 22) came in and started competing with Gayle for the not-timing-the-ball stakes as both batsmen failed to find the boundaries. Gayle, after several mishits and mistimed shots, did finally deliver a couple of those trademark hits straight down the ground, but despite those boundaries, he still could manage only a run-a-ball 48 - not too bad if you are any other batsman whose name isn't Chris Gayle.
The big left-hander fell to a brilliant catch from Tamim, where the fielder produced the now familiar throwing-up the ball to prevent from going over the line before jumping back in to hold on.
Samuels continued to mistime, or simply miss, every ball he tried to smash to the stands. As a result West Indies failed to ignite in the final overs, with only Sammy (14, 5b, 3x4), that too, thanks to a couple of dropped catches in consecutive deliveries - both from Mahmudullah - scoring a few boundaries.
West Indies' struggles were emphasised by the final over from Al-Amin Hossain, who picked up three wickets in four deliveries, while conceding just four runs, two of them byes.
However, that almost-painful first innings proved to be more than enough, as Bangladesh struggled even more with the bat, with the Tigers falling to another uninspiring defeat.
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