BANGLADESH recorded their biggest win in ODIs in terms of runs, thrashing a listless West Indies by 160 runs to take a 2-0 lead and are in prime position to claim the five-match series.
The spinners delivered for the second game in succession, but Bangladesh owed their early dominance in this match largely to Anamul Haque, who became the third teenager from the country to score a ODI century, and Mushfiqur Rahim for propelling them to 292. The cushion of runs was more than enough for the spinners to run through the line-up.
West Indies opted to bowl first, primarily to nip out as many wickets as possible using the early morning moisture and then exploit the easier batting conditions in the afternoon. As it transpired, batting appeared twice as tough with the psychological setback of chasing 293 against a four-pronged spin attack that had rendered the match a no-contest even before the halfway stage of the chase.
Bangladesh needed just over 31 overs to wrap things up and bettered their previous highest victory margin of 146 runs against Scotland in 2006. Ravi Rampaul's 5 for 49 was a forgotten statistical highlight.
West Indies had some semblance of control in only two, albeit brief, phases. The first was when they took two early wickets when the seamers had some assistance and the second when Bangladesh inexplicably took their foot off the pedal during the batting Powerplay. In between, Bangladesh ruthlessly choked the opposition.
The moisture on the pitch had disappeared after the first half hour, handing the advantage to the batsmen, which Mushfiqur and Anamul relished during their 174-run stand. Sunil Narine's fortunes on tour took a turn for the worse as the pair toyed with his bowling, which lacked the turn and bite he is normally associated with. Mushfiqur was liberal with the sweep, and also employed the late cut. Anamul improvised well against Narine, bringing up his maiden fifty with a late cut. With little seam movement on offer, Anamul was able to smash it through the line despite minimal footwork. He was strong on the pull as well, fetching boundaries off Dwayne Smith and Narine.
Bangladesh were progressing at a healthy 5.31 runs per over but ironically lost momentum when the field restrictions were on after the 35th over for the mandatory Powerplay. The seamers wisely dished out short deliveries, exploiting the new one-day rule that allows two bouncers an over. Bangladesh scratched around for 20 runs and lost two wickets in that passage, including that of Mushfiqur, who played a tired pull to midwicket for 79.
Anamul slowed down as he approached his century, consuming 23 balls in the 90s, but his wait ended when he pulled Rampaul to deep square leg and with the pressure off his shoulders, biffed Andre Russell for two sixes and a four off consecutive balls. Both Anamul and Mominul Haque fell to Rampaul - who picked up his second five-wicket haul - going for big hits. Bangladesh ransacked 68 off the last five overs to post their biggest total against West Indies.
While Chris Gayle's dip in form didn't affect West Indies' fortunes in the Tests, his no-show in the one-dayers so far is having a telling impact. A strong start was needed, and it was important West Indies knocked off as many as possible with the new ball before the spinners came on in tandem. By the time that happened, West Indies had lost three of their top four, including Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
Gayle's departure - caught behind giving Mashrafe Mortaza the charge - and tight bowling from the spinners choked the run-rate. Samuels tried to cut Sohag Gazi but got a thick edge to Mushfiqur, who took a sharp catch. Abdur Razzak trapped Dwayne Smith lbw, in a spell which read 5-0-19-3. Darren Bravo too edged the left-arm spinner Razzak and Devon Thomas missed a straight one. The wheels were falling off for West Indies when Sammy went for the lofted drive over extra cover off Mahmudullah but found the fielder. At the end of 25 overs, West Indies had lost seven, with their hopes pinned to Kieron Pollard. The end came soon when Pollard lost his off stump to Naeem Islam and Tamim Iqbal plucked a chipped drive from Narine to seal the game.