Dispirited Tigers to play series decider against West Indies today
Bangladesh must shrug off their disappointment of losing a close game and put their attention on the job in hands in the third and final one-day international against West Indies at Saint Kitts today.
The game, which starts at 7:30pm Bangladesh time, provides the Tigers another chance to win the series that they have dominated so far, both with the bat and ball.
Bangladesh came within touching distance of what would have been their first series win in abroad for nearly a decade when they put West Indies under extreme pressure in the second ODI in Guyana.
The game slipped out of their hands at the very last moment, at a time when they had very little opportunity to react and rebuild the innings.
Mossadek Hossain, the most inexperienced of seven specialist batsmen Bangladesh fielded in the game, came to the wicket with just five balls remaining and eight runs still requiring.
Two wickets fell in the previous two balls – both due to an unnecessary rush of hitting a six – which must have made Mosaddek nervous, resulting in two more dot balls.
It was beyond the capacity of the young batsman to pull off the team from such situation and he failed inevitably. The result was three-run defeat in a game that they should have won easily.
It was not for the first time Bangladesh suffered a defeat in such a close game, which was decided in the last over.
Most recently they lost the Nidahas Trophy final to India in the last over and the curse was repeated in a Twenty20 international game against Afghanistan in June.
A selector on Thursday blamed the players’ mental block for their repeated failure in thrillers, which left the team’s think-tanks finding an answer very quickly.
At least once change is expected in today’s series decider with Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain waiting in the wings to replace either Anamul Haque or Sabbir Rahman.
Sabbir is most likely to face the chop after his swing-and-miss batting in the second match, when he was expected to do a lot better.
West Indies have little to worry as the momentum is now firmly with them, especially after their come from behind win in Thursday’s match at Guyana.
Skipper Jason Holder, who bowled the decisive final over, was upbeat about the series decider, which would be held at new venue unlike Guyana, where condition rather favoured visiting Bangladesh.
‘We have got the momentum in the present team. It was a very close game that should bring a lot of encouragement into the group,’ Holder said in a video posted in the West Indies Cricket Board website after the second match.
‘Everybody is up for the last game as we obviously had chance to win the series. I guess I understand that in the first game we dropped few chances and probably a less bit of belief but it was a total team effort [second game] which I’m very proud of,’ he said.
The two teams will be engaged in a three-match Twenty20 series from August 1 after the ODIs.
-With New Age input