The third and final ODI of three-match series between Bangladesh and West Indies turned into a final as the first two matches won by each team.
The ‘final’ will be played on Friday at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium which is all set to be the first ODI in the venue. The match will commence at 1:00 pm and will be telecasted on Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Gazi Television (Gtv).
After losing the second match in Dhaka by four wickets, Bangladesh will face several challenges in the third one. They have played four recognised openers in the first two matches of the series that did not prove to be a wise move.
Shakib Al Hasan was playing well at number three which is believed to be a crucial position to bat on. But, for ensuring places for four openers he has been batting at number five since the start of ongoing series. Despite a fifty at the position, Shakib’s move made the number three position vulnerable.
Imrul Kayes, however, failed to impress at number three in spite of his golden run in the last home series against Zimbabwe where he finished with two centuries in three matches with 90 in the other match. But after being moved from his desired opening position, Imrul has been struggling. At the same time, Bangladesh’s move to play four openers did not reflect their attention for the World Cup preparation which is not too far.
Mohammad Mithun had been grabbing his second chance in the Bangladesh one-day setup before being dropped in the ongoing series. He struck two crucial fifties in the Asia Cup which was enough to cement his place at number five. But the sudden formula of playing four openers prevented his progress to become a long-term solution for the position.
In all, Bangladesh team management needs to rethink their batting line-up ahead of the final ODI of the series. They might need to bring one certain change as Liton Das sustained an injury in the second match. He was stretchered off the field due to immense pain in his right leg and was carried to the hospital for a quick scan which suggested no fracture before came into the middle to bat on later.
Mithun has a good chance to make a comeback in the place of Liton who scored 41 and eight in the first two matches respectively. Bangladesh might consider inclusion of Mohammad Saifuddin who played superbly well in the last series.
If reshuffling batting line is the first challenge for the Tigers, adapting with the condition of Sylhet is second. Bangladesh have played two international matches in Sylhet and lost both. The wicket of Sylhet is comparatively different from the other area of the country and it may add more complication to finalise playing XI in the series decider. The fast-bowlers of both the teams can hope something better them in the wicket of eastern Bangladesh.
However, Bangladesh all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz said they are optimistic to win two successive ODI series over the Windies.
“The final match of the series is a do-or-die match for us and we do well in this kind of situation. We have won the series in West Indies beating them in the last match. So the final match is an opportunity for us,” Miraz said during a chat with media on Wednesday.
Shai Hope, the hero of Windies’ last win, said after winning the second match in Dhaka, “We came here to win the games. Now our job is to make sure we finish the series 2-1.”
Earlier In the first match, Bangladesh took a step ahead to clinch the series by the superb effort of the bowlers. Mashrafe-led bowling side kept the Windies in 195 runs which proved to be an easy target to chase down for the hosts. Mashrafe and Mustafizur bagged three wickets each to help the Tigers. Mushfiqur Rahim hit an unbeaten fifty and ensured a lead 1-0 winning the match by five wickets.
But in the second match, bowlers failed to defend the total of 255 runs. Bangladesh lost the match in the last over thriller when the Windies needed only four runs. In the last five overs, they needed 38 runs. Mustafizur Rahman gave 16 runs away in the 48th over which made Bangladesh’s escape nearly impossible. And eventually, the visiting team managed to win to level the series 1-1.
Shai Hope played the main role for the Windies. He struck career-best an unbeaten 146 to secure the win. In the seventh wicket stand with Keemo Paul, he added 70 runs. This stand threw Bangladesh out of the match.