A dazed West Indies suffered an inevitable 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Bangladesh, after slumping to a four-wicket defeat in the final One-Day International of the three-match series in Guyana on Saturday.
Coming off depressing batting efforts in the two previous ODIs, West Indies fared only slightly better after being asked to bat for the third straight time, managing 178 all out in the penultimate over at the Guyana National Stadium.
Captain Nicholas Pooran broke a run of poor form with a defiant 73 off 109 deliveries while Keacy Carty, in his first match of the series, struck a patient 33 from 66 balls, but left-arm spinner Taijul Islam conjured up a superb career-best five-wicket haul to undermine the innings.
Man-of-the-Match Taijul, in his first match of the tour, finished with five for 28 and received great support from the new-ball pair of seamer Mustafizur Rahman (2-24) and left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed (2-39) who picked up two wickets apiece.
Bangladesh’s run chase was spearheaded by Litton Das who top-scored with exactly 50 from 65 deliveries while Man-of-the-Series, captain Tamim Iqbal (34) and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan (32 not out) ensured there were no hiccups, the Tigers getting home with nine balls to spare.
Hometown star Gudakesh Motie proved outstanding with a career-best four for 23 from ten overs of left-arm spin which cost just 23 runs but the effort was not enough to stymie Bangladesh’s progress.
“It was difficult. I can’t judge my batsmen,” Pooran said.
For West Indies, the series defeat was their fourth straight series defeat to Bangladesh and their 11th ODI loss on the trot to the Asian side.
And Tamim said the series result was a sign of continued improvement from his side, especially playing on the road.
“It wasn’t the easiest of conditions but we had the better spinners probably, and the bowlers utilised [the conditions] extremely well.”
Not for the first time, West Indies lost a cluster of early wickets to find themselves tottering on 16 for three in the sixth over, Taijul weaving his magic as Brandon King (8), Shai Hope (2) and Shamarh Brooks (4) perished cheaply.
Pooran dug West Indies out of their hole, however, the left-hander counting four fours and a brace of sixes in carving out his first ODI fifty in 16 innings spanning 12 months.
Crucially, he put on 67 for the fourth wicket with Carty who struck two fours and six, before adding a further 34 for the fifth wicket with Rovman Powell (18).
Once Powell was bowled by Taijul making room to hit through the off side in the 37th over, the West Indies innings folded, Pooran eventually losing his middle stump to Taijul in the 43rd over to be eighth out.
In reply, Bangladesh lost Najmul Hossain cheaply for one in the seventh over, edging fast bowler Alzarri Joseph behind with the score on 20.
However, Das struck five fours and a six and the left-handed Tamim, four fours in a measured 52-ball knock, to patch up the innings in a second wicket stand worth exactly 50.
Tamim fell when he top-edged a sweep at Motie to fine leg in the 17th over but a series of small stands kept Bangladesh on course for their target.
Das put on a further 26 for the third wicket with Mahmudullah (26) and when three wickets tumbled for 20 runs to leave the visitors stumbling on 116 for five in the 33rd, Nurul added 31 for the sixth wicket with Mahmudullah and 32 in an unbroken seventh wicket partnership with Mehidy Hasan (16 not out), to put his side comfortably over the line.