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    Shakib, Liton star as Bangladesh chase down 321 against Windies

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     Shakib, Liton star as Bangladesh chase down 321 against Windies Shakib Al Hasan underlined his class with a magnificent unbeaten hundred, his second on the bounce, as Bangladesh beat West Indies by seven wickets to register their second victory in the World Cup here on Monday.

    Shakib, who remained not out on 124 off 99 deliveries (4×16), was brilliantly supported by Liton Das (94 not out; 69 balls, 4×8, 6×4) as Bangladesh handsomely chased down 321 with as many as 51 balls and seven wickets to spare.

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    Shakib brought up his ninth ODI ton off just 83 balls with a delectable boundary through the cover off Oshane Thomas while Liton raced to his third fifty in 50-over cricket off 43 balls.

    The pair added 189 runs for the fourth wicket after Bangladesh were reduced to 133/3 at one stage. Liton smashed a hat-trick of sixes as Shakib hit a four off Shannon Grabriel who leaked 24 runs in the 38th over, making it the most expensive over of this World Cup so far.

    Shakib, who struck 121 against England in a losing cause, also became the highest run- getter in the tournament so far. The stylish left-hander, who also grabbed two wickets for 54 runs, played the short ball exceptionally well, pulling and cutting mostly behind the point region to perfection.

    Shakib was fortunate not to be caught on two occasions in successive overs. In the 22nd over, just after completing his fifty off 40 deliveries, Shakib scooped Sheldon Cottrell into the air only for the ball to land just in front of Shimron Hetymer who was steaming in from deep backward square-leg.

    In the next over, Russell could have got his wicket but a miscommunication between two fielders saw the ball land between wicketkeeper Shai Hope, who was running backwards, and Shannon Gabriel, who was charging in from fine-leg.

    Chasing 322 for victory, Tamim Iqbal (48) and Soumya Sarkar (29) gave Bangladesh a good start before being removed in quick succession. Mushfiqur Rahim (1) had an off day but once Shakib and Liton joined hands, there was no looking back.

    Earlier, Hope missed out on a hundred as the West Indies failed to capitalise on a good start to post 321/8 in 50 overs. Hope scored 96 off 121 balls with the help of four fours and one six before holing out to Liton at deep backward square-leg off Mustafizur Rahman, who returned best figures of 3/59 in nine overs.

    Mohammad Saifuddin (3/72) also picked up three wickets while Shakib scalped two. West Indies, who were 243/5 at the end of 40 overs, could not get going in the last 10 overs as Mustafizur bowled a probing line and also got the wickets of Hetymer (50; 26 balls, 4×4 6×3), Andre Russell (0) and Hope to dent the Windies’ surge.

    Besides Hope, opener Evin Lewis scored 70 off 67 balls (4×6, 6×2) while Jason Holder (33; 15 balls, 4×4, 6×2) chipped in with an useful cameo after West Indies lost Chris Gayle for a duck early in the innings.

    Lewis and Hope added 116 runs for the second wicket.

    Brief scores: West Indies: 321/8 in 50 overs (Shai Hope 96, Evin Lewis 70, Shimron Hetmyer 50; Mustafizur Rahman 3/59, Mohammad Saifuddin 3/72) lost to Bangladesh: 322/3 in 41.3 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 124 not out, Liton Das 94 not out) by seven wickets

    IANS

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