Bangladesh, after giving their fans some hope, left them disappointed as they surrendered the first one-dayer from a winning position against West Indies at the Grenada National Stadium on Wednesday.
Kieron Pollard and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin masterminded Windies victory in the series opener as they helped the hosts clinch a three-wicket win, with 62 balls to spare, and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.
When Pollard (89) and Ramdin (74) combined, the Caribbean Islanders were reeling at 34 for five but they stitched a 145-run partnership for the sixth wicket and rescued the hosts from an embarrassing defeat.
"It was good to be able to put my head down together with Denesh to bring the match home," said Pollard. "No-one needs to remind me about that. I know what I have to do and I am glad I was able to deliver today."
Earlier, Bangladesh got a decent start as Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque made a 41-run partnership for the first wicket. But, the departure of Tamim (26) opened floodgates and the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals.
Imrul Kayes (9), Shamsur Rehman (8), skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (12) and Mahmudullah (11) fell cheaply. While Anamul anchored one end, he got no support from other batsmen. However, he still managed to stitch a 53-run stand with Nasser Hossain (53) to help his team get past 200 runs mark.
Anamul (109) was the lone fighter for Bangladesh and scored his third ODI ton in his 20th appearance for the national team. His century, however, went in vain as the Tigers only managed to put a below par 218 runs target for the Caribbean team.
"We were probably 20-25 runs short of being really competitive," Mushfiqur said. Our bowlers did a good job up front but after taking those early wickets we couldn't sustain the effort."
Defending a small total, Bangladesh bowlers showed a lot of intent in the first powerplay and ripped through the Windies top-order. Chris Gayle (3) was the first to fall, followed by Darren Bravo (7), Kirk Edwards (10), Lendl Simmons (0) and skipper Dwyane Bravo (5).
Unlike other batsmen, Ramdin struck the ball well and did the early running to help Windies get out of a peculiar situation. Pollard also found the rhythm and the boundaries, which were dried up at one point.
Ramdin and Pollard fell in the space of 22 runs, giving Bangladesh hopes of making a comeback, but Jason Holder (22 not out) and Sunil Narine (3 not out) ensured that the Islanders walk away with a win.
"There's a lot of room for improvement because the top order of the batting, including myself, let us down again," Bravo said. "The bowlers did their part definitely. We just need the batting to come up trumps."