Simmons ton sinks Tigers

Bangladesh

Having racked up seven ODI half-tons in his last nine knocks, Lendl Simmons finally shrugged the proverbial monkey off his back as his maiden century carried the West Indies to a comfortable 40-run win over Bangladesh in their series opener in Dhaka on Thursday.

Having racked up seven ODI half-tons in his last nine knocks, Lendl Simmons finally shrugged the proverbial monkey off his back as his maiden century carried the West Indies to a comfortable 40-run win over Bangladesh in their series opener in Dhaka on Thursday.

Chasing a hefty target after Simmons' ton, Marlon Samuels' knock of 71 and some belated cavalier hitting from Kieron Pollard powered the Windies to 298 for four, the hosts were resigned to 258 for seven. Shakib Al Hasan and Naeem Islam weighed in with 67 not out and 52 respectively, but there was no other substance to the reply as a host of Bangladesh batsman collected promising starts but couldn't kick on.

Seamers Ravi Rampaul and Andre Russell and spinner Samuels took their cue for two wickets apiece, with the innings going through the motions somewhat as the hosts failed to accelerate despite a ballooning asking rate. Former captain Al Hasan momentarily threatened to take the result closer, but a lack of support soon stifled his cause.

Earlier the Windies moved to an impressive total of 298 for four thanks largely to Simmons' maiden ODI century, with the opener again showing the men from the Caribbean that there is life after Chris Gayle for the time being.

ODI cricket got its first taste of the new rules brought into play by the ICC recently. Two balls – one from each end – were used for the innings, though neither enjoyed much spin nor pace across rather placid conditions. The bowling Powerplay, meanwhile, was taken as soon as allowed.

With the use of runners a thing of the past, Adrian Barath was forced to retire hurt as hamstring troubles ended his promising knock at 21 not out. The right-handed Simmons almost joined Barath under the 'no runners' rule when he copped a painful return throw from the deep to the thigh, but eventually shook it off to resume his superb innings.

Samuels picked up on his fine form in the one-off T20I, which the visitors lost, against the same opposition earlier this week to graduate to another half-ton.

Simmons and Samuels' methodical 150-run stand at a rate of close to six runs per over met its end when seamer Rubel Hossain put an awkward spell behind him to have the former out for 122 and the latter gone for 71 in the same over.

That left the big-hitting Pollard to tuck into his usual cavalier approach. The lanky right-hander showed a characteristic lack of mercy on the Tigers' attack, fetching three sixes en route to a 25-ball 41.

The tourists went into the match without skipper Darren Sammy, who had to withdraw due to a stomach virus. Wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin – back in the side after a lengthy layoff – was afforded the captaincy reins, getting enough right to have his side on the frontfoot heading into the second match of the three-clash series.

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