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Liton's blitz and Mustafizur's three-for seal Bangladesh's series win

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BangladeshWest Indies 135 for 7 (Russell 47, Mustafizur 3-31) by 19 runs (DLS method)

A complete turnaround – of fortune, form and result – was completed when Bangladesh beat West Indies by 19 runs to clinch the T20I series 2-1, the same margin by which they had won the preceding ODI series. Victory was confirmed when the umpires called off play after a second rain interruption late on Sunday evening in front of a large Bangladeshi expat crowd in Florida’s Lauderhill. Liton Das‘ rapid 32-ball 61 set up Bangladesh’s highest score of the series before Mustafizur Rahman took three key wickets, including that of a rampaging Andre Russell, to seal the game.

Russell posed the only serious threat to Bangladesh, walking in when West Indies needed 108 runs in 8.3 overs. His first five scoring shots were four sixes and a four. Three of the sixes were struck over midwicket while the fourth was a very high hit over long-on. Russell struck Abu Hider for two sixes on either side of Carlos Brathwaite’s dismissal in the 17th over, but refused Ashley Nurse a single off the final ball to keep the strike.

The tactic backfired when Russell holed out to Ariful Haque, who was inches away from the boundary at long-off. He had struck six sixes and a four in his 21-ball 47, before the umpires took the players off, with rain getting heavier. Play was eventually called off 25 minutes later.

At the start, Liton and Tamim Iqbal tore away with a 61-run opening stand coming in only 4.4 overs. After he swept the match’s first ball for four, Liton cracked Nurse over the leg-side for two sixes and a four in a second over that went for 17 runs. Tamim then swung Samuel Badree over midwicket for his first six, before the openers combined again to take 19 off the fourth over. Liton first flicked and top-edged a pull off Russell, before Tamim brought out his pull shot and a straight drive to round off the expensive over.

Carlos Brathwaite broke the dangerous partnership when Tamim swept to short fine-leg. The opening pair had struck seven fours and four sixes. Soumya Sarkar fell in the next over for an 11th low score in a row, but Liton batted calmly in the immediate aftermath, reaching his first white-ball half-century off 24 balls, and his first 50-plus score in 17 innings. By then, West Indies had pulled things back with Mushfiqur Rahim’s wicket, who ended his tour with a fourth-consecutive low score. Liton followed him to the dugout four balls later, top-edging Kesrick Williams to long-off, but not before striking a total of six fours and three sixes.

Keemo Paul removed Shakib Al Hasan in the 16th over after an unconvincing 24. Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on a 20-ball 32 that had four boundaries and a six, but Ariful Haque struggled during his 16-ball 18, hitting just one four as Bangladesh added 47 runs in the last five overs, which was interrupted by a 30-minute rain break.

In reply, Chadwick Walton struck a four in each of the first three overs, but West Indies lost three wickets in the fourth, fifth and sixth overs. Mustafizur had Andre Fletcher caught at wide third-man, Sarkar had Walton holing out to long-on, and Shakib bowled Marlon Samuels with one that kept very low.

Rovman Powell and Denesh Ramdin added 45 runs for the fourth wicket, but it still didn’t help West Indies’ push for fast runs. Rubel Hossain removed Ramdin in the 12th over, which brought Russell to the crease. While he did threaten something incredible, it was not to be.



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