Every time you start to get the feeling that the West Indies are ready to do something special they do something really ‘specially’ bad to bring you crashing back to earth. Following their commanding performances in the two Test matches against the Tigers, Captain Darren Sammy spoke confidently of wanting to win all five matches in the One Day Series to get the five ranking points available. Well, after Thursday night’s performance those ranking points are now history after the Windies got clobbered by Bangladesh who won by seven wickets.
The margin of victory doesn’t even tell how one-sided the match was. The West Indies were bowled out for 198 in a ball less than 47 overs. The target was chased down with all of 58 balls to spare with two of the top three Bangladeshi bastmen – Tamim Iqbal (58) and Naeem Islam (50 not out) getting half centuries, something not one single West Indian batsman was able to accomplish on what was a flat track.
And that is what makes this performance by the West Indies so disappointing. The pitch held no terrors for the batsmen. It was flat and not really turning. In fact, the only ‘flaw’ from a batting perspective, was that the ball was not coming on to the bat. It was not an ideal batting surface but enough of the West Indies batsmen got starts and then threw their wickets away.
Chris Gayle has not had a good time with the bat on this tour. He got his highest score on tour but still found himself owned by rookie spin bowler Sohag Gazi, who took four wickets with his disciplined bowling. However, he got a lot of help from the West Indies batsmen who seemed incapable of making the necessary adjustments to their respective batting techniques on this pitch, stubbornly trying to make big shots when they should have been concentrating on rotating the strike. Someone needs to remind them that six singles an over gets you the same result as hitting one six per over.
Lendl Simmons, back in the fold after a little while out in the wilderness was dropped early in his innings but didn’t manage to learn anything from the experience and duly lost his wicket. Darren Bravo continues to confound with his epic moments of brain freeze. Inexplicably he ran himself out when there were tons of overs left for him and wicketkeeper Thomas to consolidate and build towards a more competitive total.
It is instructive that Sunil Narine was the top scorer in the match for the West Indies because he at least tried to bat smart. Rampaul too managed to get 25 and together the two spared the West Indies even further embarrassment.
On the other side of the ball, the bowlers lacked the discipline and the savvy demonstrated by the Tigers’ bowlers. All too frequently they were wide of the mark and duly smashed to the boundary helping Bangladesh race towards a comfortable win.
The West Indies would be better served by trying to play smarter in the coming matches or else it may be Bangladesh that picks up those five ranking points instead.