Another blunder, another near perfect story for the Bangladesh cricket team as they managed to let victory slip into the jaws of defeat by a mere three runs in the second one-day international against the West Indies yesterday. It was a glaring opportunity for the Tigers to seal the ODI series with an unassailable 2-0 lead against the Windies but yet again they failed to win a close game. It was another so close but yet so far story for the Tigers.
This has now happened for the fifth time in the last seven years that Bangladesh snatched defeat from winning position in the ODI’s. West Indies captain Jason Holder bowled one of the best last overs in recent memory to pull his team out of a hole. With seven to defend, Holder conceded just four runs, as West Indies stayed alive, levelling the series with a three-run win. It looked like Bangladesh were on route for a second straight victory to win the series against West Indies on their home turf when Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad steadied a rocking boat and guided them close to their target of 272, with seven wickets in hand and 40 needed off the last five overs. But in recent times Bangladesh showed they are the masters in failure when it comes to win a close game.
The match swung Bangladesh’s way after Mushfiqur and Sabbir took 10 runs off the 47th overbefore Holder went for 13 in the next over. With 14 required from the last two overs, the pair took six runs off the first five balls, struggling to find boundaries, which had been a theme in Bangladesh’s innings after the Powerplay. Sabbir got out to the final ball of the 49th over, which had left Mushfiqur with eight to get off the last over. Mushfiqur was out hitting a Jason Holder full-toss down deep midwicket’s throat with 10 needed off the last five balls. He had batted brilliantly up to that point to score 68 off 66 balls. Mashrafe and Mosaddek failed to eke out the eight remaining runs off the last five deliveries.
A lot of the credit must also go to batsman Shimron Hetmyer’s of West Indies for his superb 93-ball 125 in the first innings that pulled West Indies out of a rut and hauled them to a competitive 271 in 49.3 overs. His 103-run fifth wicket stand with Rovman Powell was instrumental in their turnaround.
Bangalore 2016 and now Georgetown 2018 these two venues have one thing in common, tense chases, where the Tigers failed to capitalize from positions of strength. Mushfiq was part in both the chases and each time he gave his wicket away from a full toss delivery which is completely unacceptable. Bangladeshi players should learn to win these crunch games as these are matches that differentiate between a good team and a great team. Overconfidence and complacency between players might be the reason behind failing to win these games. Players need to remain calm and be mentally strong as cricket is not won till the last bowl is bowled.