Bangladesh cricket's Big Five -- Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad -- marked their 100th international match together in the second ODI against West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. However, the special occasion ended on a disappointing note.
As has happened before, apart from the Fantastic Five none of the others were able to step up and shoulder their burden as Bangladesh eventually succumbed to a four-wicket defeat.
Ever since Mahmudullah's debut in July 2007, the quintet have played together across 70 ODIs, including yesterday's match, 29 T20Is and a solitary Test.
The second ODI against West Indies was no exception as three of the quintet -- Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur -- struck their 43rd, 40th and 32nd fifties respectively while Mahmudullah also contributed with the bat as Bangladesh posted 255 for seven.
After being sent in to bat, Bangladesh opener Liton Das suffered a blow on his toe off a Kemar Roach yorker and was subsequently stretchered off the field while while Imrul Kayes departed for a duck.
Tamim and Mushfiqur then steadied the ship, adding 111 runs for the second wicket. Tamim, who scored only 12 runs in the first ODI after returning from injury, looked compact as the left-hander struck a six over long-on off a free-hit from Keemo Paul, which was followed by a straight boundary.
At the other end, Mushfiqur also picked up from where he had left off in the previous game, smashing consecutive fours with his favourite sweep shot against off-spinner Roston Chase.
However, just when it looked as if the pair were set for a big partnership, Tamim was caught at deep square-leg off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo after reaching his fifty while Mushfiqur soon followed as he edged Oshane Thomas away from his body on 62.
It was then Shakib and Mahmudullah who got to work in the middle overs, adding a 61-run fourth wicket stand before the latter departed for 30 to become West Indies skipper Rovman Powell's only victim.
Shakib, however, went on as the left-hander was lucky when he was caught at mid-wicket off a no ball from Thomas. The champion cricketer utilised the free-hit with a six over mid-wicket to reach his fifty off 54 balls.
The left-hander was eventually dismissed courtesy of a brilliant slower delivery from Roach after scoring 65 off 62 balls, featuring six fours and a six, as the hosts were unable to launch in the final stages of the innings.
West Indies replied well, riding on a brilliant century from opener Shai Hope, who remained unbeaten on 146 to guide his side over the winning line.
Mashrafe, after a brilliant first game, remained average with the ball and picked up only the wicket of Powell while conceding 51 runs from his 10 overs.
Shakib, despite not picking up a wicket, bowled brilliantly to give away just 28 runs from his 10 overs to keep Bangladesh in the game. After disappointing performances with the bat from the others, it was up to the likes of Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman but they were unable to restrict the visitors and make the occasion a memorable one for the Big Five.