Bangladesh will take on hosts West Indies in the series decider 3rd ODI at Warner Park, Basseterre in St Kitts on Saturday.
The match will begin at 7:30pm Bangladesh time.
Bangladesh took lead in the series with a comfortable 48-run win in the first match while the West Indies bounced back in the evenly-contested series, winning the second game by three runs in a last-over thriller and set the stage for the finale.
A win in the 3rd game for Bangladesh means 3rd ODI series victory against the West Indies in their eight bilateral series since 1999, and first series victory in this format under Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s leadership.
But, Mashrafe needs to overcome the shocking loss in the 2nd game. “It is more disappointing because it is not the first time we have lost a game from such a position,” Mashrafe expressed disappointment after the three-run loss.
In his immediate reaction after bowling a special last over for the West Indies pulling series level at Providence Stadium in Guyana, host side skipper Jason Holder said, “It doesn’t matter how we started, it matters how we finish.” It means they are eying for the 6th ODI series win against Bangladesh.
Holder was one of the stars for his side as he defended seven runs in the final over and picked up the prized wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim, who was batting on 68 and looked good to steer Bangladesh to victory, as the visitors were restricted to 268/6 in reply to the West Indies' 271/10 in 49.3 overs.
Shimron Hetmyer scored a breezy 93-ball 125 to help the West Indies score a competitive total. He was helped by Rovman Powell's 67-ball 44. In reply, Bangladesh were well on course to victory and might have pulled it off but for Holder, who conceded only four runs in the last over.
Bangladesh put up a competitive 279/4 with Tamim Iqbal scoring 130* and Shakib Al Hasan 97 in the first ODI and restricted the opponents to 231/9 courtesy a four-wicket haul by captain Mashrafe (4/37).
Tamim and Shakib have continued to score, contributing 54 and 56 in the second match. Rahim has been outstanding too, hitting an 11-ball 30 in the first game and 68 in 67 balls in the second game.
Barring the last-over meltdown, Bangladesh have done well in the series.
Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain picked up 3/61 in the second game, complementing his captain's haul in the first. Another pacer Mustafizur Rahman has picked up two wickets in each of the two games he has played. Bangladesh picked up 19 wickets overall compared to the West Indies' 10 in two games. That factor might come in to play in the final.
West Indies bowling has been an area where the hosts will be looking for improvement as neither the new-ball bowlers nor the spinners have been able to create impact so far.
In their previous 30 ODIs, Bangladesh won eight matches against the West Indies. Of them, two were ended in no results.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Haque, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Sabbir Rahman, MosaddekHossain, MustafizurRahman, RubelHossain, Nazmul Hossain, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam.
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell and Andre Russell.