West Indies opener Shai Hope played the innings of his life as his unbeaten 146 authored a thrilling four-wicket win with two balls remaining in the second ODI against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. The visitors' first win on the tour levelled the three-ODI series at 1-1, with the series decider to come in Sylhet on December 14.
No other West Indies batsman crossed the 27 scored by Darren Bravo, which reflected just how valuable Hope's 144-ball knock, which included 12 fours and three sixes, was to West Indies' chase of Bangladesh's 255 for seven.
It was a game where the West Indies got their tactics right, sending Bangladesh in on a better batting wicket than the one in Sunday's first match and taking advantage of the easier batting conditions in the evening. But it was only one batsman who really took advantage.
Even as no specialist batsmen stayed with him till the end, the right-handed Hope navigated the tourists to within 38 runs of the target when the last five overs began.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman then bowled two good overs that cost three each, bringing the equation down to 32 off 18 balls. Hope then hit the first ball of the 48th over from Rubel for a straight six, and four more runs followed. Mustafizur, who bowled either too full or too short, was then taken for three fours by Hope in an over that cost 16.
Mahmudullah was brought on to defend six runs in the final over, which was never on the cards against a sublime Hope, and West Indies got to the target in risk-free fashion, taking two singles and two couples.
Bangladesh's fielding became frayed in the end stages, with Nazmul Islam dropping a catch off Keemo Paul in the 48th over, which also saw an overthrow that allowed Hope to retain strike.
It all looked lost for West Indies just around an hour before the triumph when skipper Rovman Powell was the fifth batsman out with the score on 157 in the 34th over, caught off his opposite number Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. Before that, their innings got off to a bad start when Chanderpaul Hemraj was trapped in front by off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the second over.
Hope then put together two 50-plus partnership -- a 65-run second-wicket stand with Darren Bravo before he was castled by Rubel and a 64-run third wicket stand with Marlon Samuels, who was caught behind off Mustafizur Rahman in the 30th over. Shimron Hetmyer did not last long as he swivel-pulled Rubel straight to deep square leg three overs later.
Earlier, Bangladesh did not fully capitalise on the perfect platform provided by a 111-run third-wicket partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim after West Indies won the toss. Opener Liton Das was felled by an Oshane Thomas yorker that struck him on an unprotected right ankle and he had to retire hurt on five in the second over. Imrul Kayes's problems against the high pace of Thomas were exposed yet again -- he was late on the ball to be bowled in the first ODI -- as he was out to a tame poke outside off stump to be caught behind in the fourth over.
Mushfiqur joined Tamim with the score on 15, who put the pressure back on West Indies with two boundaries in the next two overs -- a one-bounce four to midwicket off a Kemar Roach free-hit and a clip through the same region off Thomas. Mushfiqur turned Thomas off his hips for four in the pacer's next over and Tamim consolidated the early initiative by hitting Keemo Paul for a six -- off another free hit -- over long on in the 11th over. He followed that with a straight driven four that showed his class and also that the wicket was a more easy-paced one than the one for the first match.
With a square-cut boundary off Paul in the 13th over and two of his favoured swept boundaries in the following over against off-spinner Roston Chase, Mushfiqur raced to 36, overtaking Tamim on 33. When he reached his 32nd ODI fifty by running his 62nd ball down to third man for a single off Rovman Powell in the 21st over as Bangladesh reached 112 for one, a total close to 300 seemed on the cards. Tamim reached his 43rd fifty off his 61st delivery with a tuck off the pads off Powell two overs later, but then he slog-swept leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo straight down deep midwicket's throat to depart for a 63-ball 50 in the third ball of the 24th over.
A quiet period followed as Bangladesh added seven runs from the next 19 deliveries and the pressure led to Mushfiqur playing away from his body and edging Thomas to the keeper to depart for 62 off 80 balls. From 132 for three, Shakib and Mahmudullah Riyad added 61 runs for the fourth wicket in 13.5 overs. In the 41st over, Mahmudullah was out for 30 after being caught at cover off a leading edge against Powell.
Soumya Sarkar did not last long before being caught off Bishoo for six, which is when Liton resumed his innings, having come back from the hospital with a scan that showed no major damage. He however added just three runs before being caught off Paul in the 46th over.
Shakib got a reprieve when, on 46, he was caught off a Thomas no-ball in the 45th over. He celebrated his good fortune by smashing the free hit for a six, bringing up his 40th fifty off 54 balls. That over cost 16 runs and included two more boundaries off Shakib's bat.
After Shakib's dismissal, bowled by a very slow slower ball from Roach for a 62-ball 65, Bangladesh lost momentum against a slew of slower balls bowled by Roach and Thomas, with Mehedi and Mashrafe taking just 16 runs in the last three overs, and in the end that proved decisive.