Bangladesh's ODI captain Tamim Iqbal has backed the five-bowler template after the visitors won a rain-curtailed first ODI against the West Indies in Guyana on Sunday.
The visitors' bowlers did exceedingly well to restrict the West Indies to 149/9 after the game was reduced to 41 overs. Shoriful Islam and Mehidy Hasan were the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers, returning with figures of 4-34 and 3-36 respectively.
With Shakib Al Hasan unavailable for the series, Iqbal went with five bowlers, a template that has not been followed by Bangladesh. Explaining the same at the post-match press conference, the veteran opener said:
'There were lot of debates whether we play one extra batsman or one extra bowler. If we play one extra batsman, it would have been a safe call but you have to take chances in international cricket. We have to go with either one batsman or one bowler. For me, in the ODI format, you have to have five proper bowlers, and I hope all the batsmen take responsibility and finish the game."
Bangladesh batters did well to back their bowlers, chasing down the target in 31.5 overs and with six wickets to spare. Captain Iqbal (33), Najmul Shanto (37) and Mahmudullah (41*) took the tourists home.
"These kinds of opportunities won't come" - Tamim Iqbal on Najmul Shanto
With a few first-choice players unavailable, it was a good opportunity for the fringe players to make a case for themselves.
Shanto, who was picked ahead of the in-form Anamul Haque, failed to convert his start into a big score. He scored 37 off 46 deliveries but failed to see his team home.
Tamim Iqbal said that the young batter from Rajshahi is disappointed not to make the most of the opportunity.
'When there are six batsmen, then whoever gets set, he has to carry on," said Iqbal. "Shanto had a brilliant opportunity today to finish the game, and I think he should be very disappointed because these kinds of opportunities won't come. ... when Shakib and Mushfiq and Yasir will be back, they will probably take the place, so whenever this kind of opportunity comes, you have to grab it with both hands."
With plenty of room for improvement, Bangladesh will look to continue their momentum in the second ODI against the West Indies on Wednesday.
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