Dillon scythes through Bangladesh

West Indies 269-3 Bangladesh 131
(West Indies won by 138 runs)

There was an uncharacteristic gravity wrapped around the West Indies yesterday. Gone was the carefree, calypso approach to their batting, while the bowling was clinical in the extreme as Mervyn Dillon surgically removed the head and body of the Bangladesh batting for a career-best one-day return.

There was an uncharacteristic gravity wrapped around the West Indies yesterday. Gone was the carefree, calypso approach to their batting, while the bowling was clinical in the extreme as Mervyn Dillon surgically removed the head and body of the Bangladesh batting for a career-best one-day return.

If the West Indies' mood was sombre, it could in part be put down to what has been going in the back home in their absence. The ravages of the various hurricanes which have ripped through the Caribbean have taken their toll of lives and properties and, out of respect to the victims of Ivan and Frances et al, the West Indies' players wore black armbands.

But after this performance much respect is due to the cream of the Caribbean one-day cricketers. Perhaps they could have scored a few more runs, and perhaps they could have injected a little more excitement into their innings, but they did more than enough.

In any case, Bangladesh more than made up for the lack of Caribbean brio with their own brand of dashing batting, even if there was more rash than dash to it.

But they had no way to counter the measured tread of the West Indies' openers, Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds, who compiled a massive 192 runs in just under 40 overs. Neither man made it to three figures, though; their tenacious opponents made sure of that, tempting Hinds into one big shot too many to hole out at long off and cruelly finding the edge of Gayle's bat when he was one short of his hundred, both from the bowling of Tapash Baisya.

It took the pair a long time to show anything remotely resembling aggression. Hinds finally cleared the boundary twice off the slow left-armer Mohammad Rafique, but that was towards the end of his innings. The only real fireworks came from Brian Lara, who clubbed two sixes and a four in his seven-ball innings.

The stage was then set for Dillon with 24 balls of mayhem, during which his pace earned him four wickets for just six runs and the match was as good as over as a contest. The pockets of resistance were dealt with calmly and Dillon returned shortly after the halfway mark to claim his fifth wicket and a tournament best return of 5 for 29 for a short while until Shahid Afridi outdid him at Edgbaston.

Thereafter the Bangladeshis just threw caution to the wind and their bats at the ball until their resistance finally subsided with more than 10 overs remaining.

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