Powell blitz saves Windies the blushes against Bangla

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Benoni: Ricardo Powell smashed 50 off 31 balls to lift the West Indies to 244 for nine from 50 overs in the World Cup Group 'B' match against Bangladesh on Tuesday. The right-hander plundered five sixes and three boundaries after Bangladesh, electing to field in overcast conditions, had reduced the West Indies to 158 for five in the 40th over. Powell's aggression helped the West Indians score 84 runs in the last 10 overs to give Bangladesh a challenging victory target of five runs an over.

Brian Lara made 46 and skipper Carl Hooper chipped in with 45 to overcome a spirited display by Bangladesh, looking to prevent their 28th defeat in the last 29 One- dayers. Left-arm seamer Manjurul Islam picked up three wickets, but Ehsanul Haque was the best bowler on view with 2 for 34 from 10 overs. Bangaldesh was clearly stung by the remarks of its Pakistani coach Mohsin Kamal on Monday that his side could not defeat the West Indies and it should try and just reduce the margin of defeat. "If we put in 110 per cent, we will give a good account of ourselves in the game," Kamal had said. "But for Bangladesh it is not all about winning. It's a matter of how you minimise the margin of defeat."

Manjurul removed Chris Gayle for no score, while Mahmud took care of the other opener Wavell Hinds for 18 as the West Indies slipped to 41 for two. Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul added 67 for the third wicket, before three middle order batsmen fell in the space of 50 runs. Chanderpaul was trapped leg before by Ehsanul, who then took the prize wicket of Lara, driving a catch to Al Sahariar in the covers. Powell held the innings together till he holed out in the 48th over.

Lara said total should be good enough to beat Bangladesh and secure four full points. "It may not look a very big score against Bangladesh, but hopefully we will win," he said. "The ball was moving around early on and they restricted us. We want the rains to stay away. We need the four points here so we can move on."

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