Cricket: World Cup - W Indies inspired by Walsh

Bangladesh 182 West Indies 183-3 West Indies win by 7 wickets
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The Independent Online
IN THE shadow of Clontarf Castle, Bangladesh yesterday found their audacious raid for their first-ever booty of World Cup points repelled by the continuing excellence of Courtney Walsh. With a shoulder strain keeping Curtly Ambrose hors de combat, the 36-year-old's figures of 4 for 25 prevented them setting the West Indies what could easily have been a more challenging target than the 183 they eventually reached with 21 balls to spare on a slow pitch in dauntingly cold conditions.

Mehrab Hossain, 16 years Walsh's junior, made a brave 64 and put on 85 with Naimur Rahman (45) as Bangladesh responded to the criticism of their West Indian coach, Gordon Greenidge, following some limp batting in the defeat to New Zealand on Monday. With play delayed by 45 minutes for rain and the opener Shahriar Hossain forced to send for an extra sweater within two overs, it was clear that they would find no greater comfort from the weather than they had when chilled to the bone at Chelmsford. For a good while it looked as though their batsman would freeze again in every sense.

The second jersey could have remained in the dressing room, for Shahriar edged his very next ball to gully. Having already been dropped at slip, also off Walsh, he could not complain about his second failure of the competition. The two most experienced batsmen, Akram Khan and Aminul Islam, did not last long either, the former chipping to cover and his captain touching Reon King to the wicketkeeper. Walsh then beat Aminul with three successive balls outside off stump, before briefly leaving the field, either to thaw out or in sheer disgust.

The innings was almost halfway through with only 55 scored and four down, Minhazul Abedin, the extra batsman brought into the side, having given Ridley Jacobs another catch off King. If Walsh was immaculate and King steady, Ambrose's replacement, Hendy Bryan (11 wides) and Mervyn Dillon (six wides) were vague enough to offer some encouragement, which Mehrab and Naimur seized upon.

Once Jimmy Adams' frozen fingers let slip a simple chance the partnership flourished, eventually yielding 85 runs in 20 overs, with Mehrab sending King back over his head for six before holing out to extra cover. It took Walsh's return to impose a measure of control, three wickets in as many overs sending him further beyond a total of 200 in one-day internationals.

The controlling influence as the West Indies set off in reply, with the sun mercifully appearing, was Sherwin Campbell. He was undone in the opening match by the frightening pace of Shoaib Akhtar but found the former East Pakistanis comfortingly gentler. He saw off the promising Hasibul Hussain, allowing Jacobs to come out of his shell and send Khaled Mahmud for a six and a four in his first over.

By the time Campbell offered a skier, having made 36, and Jacobs was run out for 51, West Indies were well on their way.

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