Playing their first-ever ODI against West Indies, Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana won the toss and opted to bowl first. Bangladesh fielded the unchanged playing XI, while West Indies made two changes, adding Afy Fletcher and Rashada Williams. Veteran spinner Anisa Mohammed didn’t find the place as West Indies continued with Karishma Ramharack.
Hayley Matthews started the proceedings with a punch through mid-off against the left-arm pace of Fariha Trisna. On the other end, Deandra Dottin showcased her intentions with two back-to-back fours off Jahanara Alam. Both Trishna and Alam adjusted their lengths against the West Indies openers with wicket-keeper Shamima Sultana standing close to the stumps. This dual pressure continued with the scoring rate dipping below four. Alam persisted and gave Bangladesh a big breakthrough with the wicket of Dottin.
Bangladesh introduced spin from both ends, once power play was done, and Nahida Akter struck gold with her first ball of the match. Captain Nigar timed her jump to perfection at the mid-wicket to send in-form Matthews back for 18. The slump continued for West Indies when Akter bowled captain Stefanie Taylor around her legs, and two balls later Rashada Williams was caught at point off Salma Khatun. By the end of the 16th over, West Indies were struggling at 48 for 4.
Tight fielding and excellent spin bowling resulted in run-rate dropping below three and forced West Indies batters to take some risks for runs. Fargana Hoque’s direct hit from the covers ended Chedean Nation’s struggling stay at the crease and later Rumana Ahmed trapped Aaliyah Alleyne for a duck. The collapse continued as Chinelle Henry’s soft dismissal for just one reduced West Indies to seven for 70.
Amidst the chaos, Shemaine Campbelle stood tall even when the wickets were falling from the other end. The wicket-keeper batter walked in when West Indies had just lost captain Taylor for four. She played a patient innings to put pressure back on Bangladesh bowlers and added 34 runs for the eighth wicket with Afy Fletcher. She brought up her second half-century of the World Cup off 105 balls and took West Indies to 140 for nine in the first innings.
In reply, Matthews handed West Indies the breakthrough in the very first over when she trapped Shamima in front for a duck. Bangladesh’s highest ever run-scorer in ODIs, Fargana Hoque joined Sharmin Akhter as the pair started to build a foundation in the chase. Hoque and Akhter were watchful in their attack, quick between the wickets, and maintained the run rate above three. Matthews, once again, broke this promising partnership as Dottin took a regulation catch in the slips to send Akhter back.
Nigar had to bail out the struggling chase once again when she walked in to bat at four in the 10th over with Bangladesh struggling at 30 for two. The experienced pair of Hoque and Nigar navigated the tricky period when Taylor persisted with the spin trio of Matthews, Fletcher, and Karishma Ramharack. Hoque swept hard against Fletcher but got bowled the next ball when she tried to repeat the same for 23. Fletcher, playing her first match of the World Cup, rattled the Bangladesh middle-order witch wickets of Rumana Ahmed and Ritu Moni with back-to-back deliveries. Halfway through the chase, Bangladesh were 64 for five and needed 77 runs with five wickets in the hand.
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Despite the wobble at the other end, Nigar played her shots to take Bangladesh closer to the target. Matthews came back to end the valiant fightback from Nigar and trapped the Bangladesh captain in front for 25. A ball later, Matthews bowled Fahima Khatun with a sharp turning delivery, adding the fourth wicket to her tally. Matthews finished her quota of ten overs and took her career-best figures of four for 15.
From the precarious position of 85 for seven, the chances of Bangladesh victory looked slim, but the Salma and Akter kept Bangladesh in the contest with a partnership of 25 runs. Bangladesh lost Salma and Alam in quick succession and needed 18 runs from the last four overs with only one wicket in hand. Taylor defended eight runs from the final over and bowled Fariha Trisna to seal the victory for West Indies.
Brief Scores: West Indies 141 for nine in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 53*; Salma Khatun 2/23, Nahida Akter 2/23) beat Bangladesh 136/10 in 49.3 overs (Nahida Akter 25*, Nigar Sultana 25; Hayley Matthews 4/15) by four runs. POTM: Hayley Matthews