Bangladesh ran out of steam against the West Indies, as they fell to a 91-run defeat, but there were plenty of worrying signs for the home side.
The Windies were let down by their opening partnership of Lendl Simmons and Chris Gayle, both of whom managed just six, but found a new lease of life in captain Darren Bravo.
Bravo hit a quickfire century of 124 off just 127 balls, helped along the way by a strong fourth-wicket stand with Denesh Ramdin, who also hit surpassed a ton with an even faster 169 off 129.
Disappointing from Windies’ batsmen
Once again, though, despite the efforts of the higher middle order, the rest of the hosts’ batting proved disappointing. Only Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy reached double figures – both managing 10.
In reply, Bangladesh looked to be struggling on 2-2 after Anamul Haque lost his wicket for a duck, and Imrul Kayes followed soon after having scored a single.
Tamim Iqbal steadied the ship with a half century, before Mushfiqur Ramin looked to be on his way to a confident 100, but fell on 71, caught by Darren Sammy off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul.
The Tigers’ main fault was letting the run-rate slip, and eventually finished their fifty overs on 247, 91 shy of the Windies’ 338.
Lost without Gibson
However, the fact that that total was almost entirely the work of Ramdin and Bravo will alarm the West Indies’ coaching set-up, who are already depleted having last week head coach lost Ottis Gibson.
Team manager Richie Richardson has stepped in as interim coach in the meantime, but the instability surrounding the role is yet another worrying sign ahead of the ICC World Cup next year.
West Indies Cricket are yet to reveal the reason for Gibson’s departure, with former South Africa and Australia coach Mickey Arthur the current favourite for the job.
Much to improve upon
There is certainly much work to be done to improve upon a sloppy performance against poor opposition in Bangladesh. The Windies’ bowling attack conceded 17 extras, and many of them toiled against a decidedly average batting order. Their dependency on Rampaul must also be addressed.
Just two years after winning the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, they do not look like real contenders in ODI cricket.
They have also slipped to eighth in the Test rankings, the lowest among the established nations, and are now placed eighth for ODIs and seventh for T20s.
The win against Bangladesh will provide much-needed confidence with the World Cup less than six months away, but they must use the rest of their fixtures against the Tigers to build up considerably more momentum.