St Kitts: Kesrick Williams' career-best bowling figures and a hurricane batting cameo by Andre Russell highlighted an efficient effort by the West Indies in defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets in the rain-affected opener of the three-match T20 International series at Warner Park in St Kitts on Tuesday.
West Indies have been set a revised target of 91 runs off 11 overs. Bangladesh totalled 143 for nine batting first off their full allotment of overs. However persistent rain delayed the West Indies reply by 90 minutes and necessitated the recalculation of the winning target.
After off-spinner Ashley Nurse rocked the visitors with the wickets of both openers without scoring in the first over of the match, fast bowler Williams claimed four for 28 to ensure there would be no substantial recovery for the tourists despite a fighting topscore of 35 from Mahmudullah as they finished at 143 for nine.
Set a revised target of 91 off 11 overs after rain delayed the West Indies response by more than 90 minutes, Russell blazed an unbeaten 35 off 21 balls with three fours and three sixes to ensure there were no alarms for the home side in taking a 1-0 lead ahead of the final two matches in Florida at the weekend.
Russell and Marlon Samuels (25) put on 42 for the third wicket after seamer Mustafizur Rahman despatched opening batsmen Evin Lewis and Andre Fletcher without conceding a run in his opening over to give the Bangladeshis hope of restraining the home side.
Rovman Powell then joined Russell after Samuels fell to Rubel Hossain to ensure the Caribbean team romped to the target.
Put in to bat earlier by West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite, Bangladesh got off to the worst possible start.
Despite the loss of those early wickets, Bangladesh were progressing at almost ten runs per over halfway through the innings.
But that scoring rate dropped alarmingly as the wickets continued to tumble. Mahmudullah managed useful partnerships with Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim, however Williams' clever variations of pace strangled the innings, his dismissal of Mahmudullah effectively ending the tourists' hopes of a substantial score.