West Indies seek to end ODI series drought in Bangladesh
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DHAKA – The West Indies are looking to end their four-year wait for a one-day international series win when they take on hosts Bangladesh starting Sunday.
Stand-in skipper Rovman Powell said winning the three-match series in Bangladesh would give his side the perfect boost ahead of the World Cup next year, for which they had to qualify after failing to secure one of the eight automatic berths.
"We haven't won an ODI series in a long time," Powell told reporters on Saturday ahead of the first game in Dhaka.
"The guys are upbeat and raring to go. No better opportunity to change it in Bangladesh."
"It will be good to get the series win under our belt" before the World Cup, Powell added.
The West Indies were humiliated by Bangladesh in the preceding Test series, with the home side wrapping up both matches inside three days.
The Caribbean side last won an ODI series in 2014 when they beat Bangladesh 3-0 at home.
They have since lost 11 series and drew against minnows Afghanistan last year.
The streak includes a 2-1 loss to Bangladesh in July at home and a 3-1 loss to India in October.
Powell, who will be leading the side in the absence of the injured Jason Holder, said the Test defeats to Bangladesh are in the past.
"We are focused on white-ball cricket. (The) guys are motivated and upbeat and hopefully we can get best possible result," he said.
"Both teams have good spinners, fast bowlers and batters. It will be a very competitive series."
Bangladesh have been boosted by the return of batsman Tamim Iqbal and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who both missed the ODI series against Zimbabwe in October because of injury.
Shakib played in the Tests against the West Indies and was named man-of-the-series, while Tamim showcased his abilities with a blistering 107 off 73 balls in Thursday's 51-run warm-up match win over the visitors.
"Obviously having Shakib, Tamim in the team is a big advantage for us," said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.
"In the practice game, Tamim played brilliantly which is a great relief for Tamim as well as for us,” added Mashrafe, who is set to become the first Bangladeshi to play 200 ODIs on Sunday.
The second and third matches of the series will be played on December 11 and 14 in Dhaka and Sylhet.
The West Indies will wrap up the Bangladesh tour with three Twenty20 internationals.