West Indies have been knocked out of the ICC World Twenty20 by a 27-ball innings from the tiny Mohammad Ashraful. The Bangladesh Captain cracked 7 fours and 3 sixes to smash 61 in 27 as Bangladesh motored to a target of 165 in just 18 overs at the loss of four wickets! Aftab Ahmed, another clean striker of the ball and another short batsman in height packed a punch in his unbeaten 62 from 49 which had 8 fours and a six. West Indies having lost its two group matches are sadly out of the tournament although Chris Gayle had begun the tournament with an unbelievable hundred.
It was Chris Gayle’s duck in the third ball of the match that had pumped up the Bangladeshi Tigers in front of some good number of supporters. Gayle played a cut shot straight into the hands of point after leaving the first two deliveries of Syed Rasel. The first over from Rasel went onto be a wicket maiden. Rasel almost bowled a maiden in his 3rd over but for a last ball single as Windies started in an overcautious fashion on a damp pitch at Johannesburg. It was a delayed start at the Wanderers because of the pitch being over watered by the groundsmen! Bangladesh straightaway asked West Indies to bat first having won an important toss. Windies innings took off gradually with Devon Smith scoring 51 from 52 with 6 fours and Chanderpaul making 37 from 31 with 3 fours and 2 sixes. But both batsmen didn’t play with the freedom that one associates with this game.
West Indies managed to put 164 towards the end at the loss of 8 wickets which was a total that had to be defended by good bowling. Marlon Samuels with 27 from 14 with a couple of fours and sixes and Dwayne Smith with 29 from just 7 balls which included four sixes were the big hitters of the day for West Indies. The bowling was brilliant backed up by the fielding for Bangladesh along with good field placement from Ashraful. Rasel ended up with 4 overs on the trot conceding just 10 runs along with the wicket of Gayle. Shakib-al-Hasan dismissed four batsmen to halt the West Indies’ progress besides giving away 34 in his 4.
Bangladesh started poorly losing its two dashing openers – Nazimuddin and Tamim Iqbal cheaply. Ashraful walked in with his team at 28 for 2 after 4 overs and when he left the park, Bangladesh were just 29 away from victory with 34 balls to spare. He was well supported by Aftab Ahmed whose innings was a rapid one too but can be called as a sheet anchor’s role in this mini game.