Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das made a mockery of West Indies’ first innings score of 321/8, guiding Bangladesh to the second-highest successful chase in World Cup history with a staggering 51 balls to spare. Here’s Richard Whitehead’s report from the 2020 Wisden Almanack.
West Indies v Bangladesh
Match 23, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
June 17, 2019
At the halfway point of the qualifying stage, the two teams arrived at a critical moment. The winners would stay in the mix, the losers would glance nervously at airline schedules. Bangladesh handled the pressure, and sashayed home to complete the second-highest successful World Cup run-chase. At the heart of a stirring triumph was Shakib Al Hasan.
Gathering records like a wealthy vinyl collector, he hit his second successive hundred, in the process reaching an ODI double of 6,000 runs and 250 wickets in 92 fewer matches than the next fastest (Shahid Afridi). With Liton Das – celebrating his call-up with an immaculately constructed 94 from 69 balls – he put on an unbeaten 189, a national World Cup record.
Despite mounting evidence that the tactic was not working, West Indies kept bowling short; Bangladesh were unfazed. But the plotline was not straightforward. Holder rued an incident in the 23rd over, when Shakib swung lazily at Russell and the ball landed between Gabriel, snoozing at fine leg, and Hope, haring back from behind the stumps. That would have been 148 for four, and given West Indies an opening.
Their own innings had been a stop-start affair: Hope may have batted too long (121 balls) for 96, others not long enough, although Lewis belatedly made his mark with 70 off 67. In one passage of rollicking entertainment, 60 came between the 35th and 38th overs, with Hetmyer, who holed out after reaching 50 in 25 deliveries, striking the ball beautifully.
Cottrell provided one other highlight: swooping on Tamim Iqbal’s firmly struck drive in his follow-through, he hurled the ball back in a flash, beating Tamim’s dive to complete a thrilling run-out.
First published in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack