Dhaka - Bangladesh kept calm under pressure to clinch their one-day series against Twenty20 world champions West Indies 3-2 on Saturday, hailed by captain Mushfiqur Rahim as his nation's biggest victory.
Nasir Hossain played a crucial unbeaten innings of 39 as the home side survived Kemar Roach's vicious pace and the crafty spin of Sunil Narine to overhaul the West Indies' 217 all out with two wickets in hand when they ended 221-8 after 44 overs.
“We did not have one or two of our key players. So it was a big challenge and considering that, this is our biggest series win,” said the Bangladesh skipper, whose side went 2-0 up in the series only to be pegged back to 2-2.
Influential all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out of the first two matches last month but missed all five games as Bangladesh notched up their second series victory over the West Indies.
They first won with a 3-0 clean sweep against the under-strength hosts in the Caribbean in 2009.
“They are the current Twenty20 world champions and all the top players were playing so this was a very big occasion for us,” added Rahim.
West Indies paceman Roach finished with 5-56 while Narine claimed 3-38 but they were unable to help defend their total, driven by a powerful half-century from Kieran Pollard who cracked 85 off 74 balls including eight sixes.
Roach removed openers Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque in his second over and then Jahirul Islam in his fifth to leave the hosts wobbling at 30-3 in front of a 25,000 crowd at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
However, player of the match Mahmudullah and Rahim launched a counter attack to bring the roar back and put Bangladesh firmly on course before Narine silenced the gallery again when he ended their 91-run fourth-wicket stand.
Narine bowled Mahmudullah for 48 and was lucky to bowl Rahim for 44 when he defended well only to see it bounce and hit the stumps, putting the pressure back on the home side who still needed 85 runs for win.
Mominul Haque (25) held his nerve to add a further 53 runs with Nasir to take Bangladesh close to their target though the home side almost ruined the party after losing two quick wickets to Roach at the end of their innings.
Mominul earlier took two vital wickets to help Bangladesh restrict West Indies to a modest total after Pollard had threatened to take it beyond them.
Pollard joined Darren Bravo when West Indies were stuttering at 17-3 and struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking having gone five overs without scoring a run.
Pollard released the pressure off with eight sixes and five boundaries before Mominul bowled him to end his 132-run fourth-wicket stand with Bravo, who played the role of an anchor to score 51 off 108 balls.
Bangladesh then quickly wrapped up the innings as West Indies lost their last five wickets for 29 runs.
West Indies, who won the test series 2-0, will end their tour with a Twenty20 international on Monday. – Reuters