A cracking second T20 International between West Indies and Bangladesh is scheduled to play at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka on Thursday.
In the One-Day International (ODI) series, Windies registered their first win on tour at the same venue and they will be reminiscing. The victory was inspired by Shai Hope’s sparkling career best 146* and Oshane Thomas’s three-wicket haul.
It was a comfortable win for the Caribbean men in the first T20I against Bangladesh, winning by eight wickets. The star performers were Sheldon Cottrell and the ever-dependable Shai Hope. In the post-match press conference for the first T20, Captain Carlos Brathwaite explained that “it was a good win, but in recent
times we started a series well, but lost the remaining matches”.
Heading into the second T20I, the Brathwaite-led Windies team are not taking the opposition lightly: “we are respectful and will want to come back fresh in the next game”. After humbling defeats in the T20 series in India, West Indies needed to play more expressive cricket and in the first T20I against Bangladesh, they proved that. The Windies bowlers are usually adaptable bowlers, but in recent times they have failed owing to the small amount of runs the batsmen had scored.
Speaking after his player-of-the-match performance, Cottrell explained that the Windies bowlers adapted brilliantly to a pitch that was not seam-friendly. The team selected in the first match included four seam bowlers and one spinner; the faster bowlers shared eight wickets. The batting department of the West Indies T20 team is an explosive line-up including Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo and Shai Hope, who is playing out of his skin, stroking sixes at will.
Lewis has a T20 International strike rate of 157, Pooran has a career strike rate of 156.7 and Hope’s career strike rate is 156.7. With such dangerous strike rates, the batsmen will be the key to chase any sizeable target and set huge totals batting first. With the fearless Guyanese duo Hetmyer and Keemo Paul, the batting line-up has variety. Explosive left-handed batsman Sherfane Rutherford is yet to receive
his well-deserved opportunity at the international level, and may be in contention to play if the Windies wrap up the series win with one match to spare. The bench strength of the West Indies is fairly good with the likes of experienced gloves man Denesh Ramdin, specialist T20 bowler Kesrick Williams, and young spinner Khary Pierre.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh team have not lost hope; in tomorrow’s clash, they will be looking to level the series. Courageous Captain Shakib Al Hassan noted that everything went wrong for his team in the first T20I except winning the toss. “We have to learn from this match and move forward,” Shakib explained after the post-match press conference.