Super Samuels turns it on again
Marlon Samuels reprised his World T20 final heroics as West Indies defeated Bangladesh by 18 runs in a high-scoring one-off Twenty20 international at Mirpur.
Samuels, a powerful batsman demonstrating vast improvement over the last year, was named man of the match in Colombo two months ago, when his six-laden 78 ultimately proved key to the Windies’ triumph over hosts Sri Lanka.
Today, the 31-year-old Jamaican cleared the ropes on nine occasions en route to 85 not out from 43 deliveries. He struck 28 in the final over alone as West Indies finished on an imposing 197 for four after choosing to bat.
Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah compiled unbeaten innings of 88 and 64 respectively as Bangladesh responded admirably, but a total of 179 for one proved insufficient.
The Tigers become the first team in T20 history to lose a match despite losing just one wicket when batting second.
While the efforts of Tamim and Mahmudullah ensured Bangladesh avoided a heavy defeat, Samuels was the undoubted star of the show.
He was twice dropped by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim after Rubel had picked up the early wickets of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith.
Darren Bravo provided able support in a brisk third-wicket stand of 66 that ended when the left-hander was stumped off Sohag Gazi for 41.
Yet the ruthless Samuels then took centre stage, smashing 58 from the final 19 deliveries he faced.
Gazi conceded two sixes to Kieron Pollard before Rubel bore the brunt of Samuels’ remarkable assault, which culminated in four maximums and a four at the end of West Indies’ innings.
The tourists, beaten 3-2 in the one-day international series between the two teams, could only muster one wicket thereafter, that of Anamul Haque for 22.
Yet Bangladesh were unable to keep up with the required rate as Gayle conceded just 18 from four overs, a key contribution in a game featuring 21 sixes and 30 fours.