1st ODI: West Indies narrowly beat Bangladesh

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/ramnareshsarwan.jpg' class='caption'> West Indies formalised a one-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening ODI of their three-match series.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Fidel Edwards flicked a delivery from Mohammad Rafique through square leg for a single, to formalise a nail-biting yet unconvincing West Indies one-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening ODI of their three-match series. Chasing a modest target of 145 to win, West Indies slumped to 133 for nine and had to rely on their last wicket pair of Edwards and Ian Bradshaw, two of their most inexperienced players, to take them to the jackpot with 20 balls to spare. Unconvincing win West Indies now lead the series 1-0 with the second ODI scheduled again for the Arnos Vale Playing Field today. "We got the most important thing - the win - but we are not happy about the way we went about getting this result," acting West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan said. "We certainly will not be underestimating them on Sunday. They are improving and we saw that in this match," he added. Bangladesh effort Ricardo Powell hit half-dozen boundaries in the top score of 52 from 64 balls, but he too, was guilty of the thoughtless, careless batting that almost sunk West Indies. Left-arm spin bowler Manjural Islam Rana again showed that he could be Bangladesh's main weapon on this trip with three wickets for 21 runs from 10 overs and Khaled Mahmud took two for 15 from 10 overs. "If we had scored a few more runs, like 200 or more, it would have been quite interesting," Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said. "I am very happy with the boys' effort and I think we have learnt quite a lot from this match." Windies squad Fast bowler Tino Best captured four wickets for 35 runs from 10 overs on his ODI debut for West Indies, as Bangladesh were restricted 144 for eight from their allotment of 50 overs. Mohammed Rafique hit the only six of the innings in the top score of 32 not out from 59 balls and Khaled Mashud scored 30 not out from 75 balls in a stand of 62, unbroken, for the ninth wicket that brought some respectability to the Bangladesh innings. West Indies appeared to be coasting slowly, but surely to victory when they reached 81 for two. The wickets of Chanderpaul, lbw to Manjural's third delivery for 15 in the 26th over, and Powell, bowled playing an ill-advised back-foot drive off Mahmud in the 29th, opened the floodgates. Panic control Panic almost immobilised West Indies, particularly when Manjural, Mahmud and Rafique cleverly wheeled away in the middle of the innings. Sarwan tried to hit his side out of danger and was caught inside the long-on boundary for 22 in the 39th over. Dwayne Smith's carelessness saw him stumped off Manjural, and Ridley Jacobs and Dwayne Bravo paid for their thoughtlessness when they were both run out, as West Indies slumped from 119 for five to 126 for eight. Their position became even more perilous when Best was lbw to Manjural in the 44th over with 12 needed, but the easygoing Bradshaw kept a level head and his six in the 45th over off Alok Kapali effectively turned the game West Indies' way. (PTI)

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