The way Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan batted in the first ODI against West Indies was how the team wanted them to, according to captain Mashrafe Mortaza. There has been some criticism for how slowly they changed gears from the 40th to 45th overs, particularly as the period coincided with both batting in their 90s, but Bangladesh eventually won by 48 runs, a huge relief for a side that recently lasted only six days in a two-Test series.
On Sunday, after Bangladesh had lost a wicket in the second over at the Providence Stadium, Tamim and Shakib added 207 runs for the second wicket. They looked in command after the 25th over once they tackled a dry pitch that offered turn to Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse and Jason Mohammad. But the duo didn't hit a boundary in the last 9.3 overs of their partnership, with Shakib eventually falling on 97 while trying to slog Bishoo in the 45th over.
Tamim went on to score his tenth ODI hundred but it was Bangladesh's slowest in the format. Mushfiqur Rahim, who arrived at the crease in the 47th over, gave the innings a much-needed boost, adding 54 with Tamim in just 20 balls. Mushfiqur blasted 30 off 11 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Mashrafe said Tamim and Shakib believed a 250-plus score was enough on the Providence Stadium pitch with Bangladesh having two specialists and two part-time spinners in their line-up.
"If they [Tamim and Shakib] didn't bat that way on that turning wicket, we would have ended up on around 220 runs," Mashrafe said. "We wanted to ensure that we reached 250. They felt chasing at least 250 would be tough on this wicket. They didn't take up unnecessary time; they batted like the team had wanted them to bat.
"If their spinners took one or two wickets, we would have been in trouble. I think Shakib and Tamim batted really well."
Mashrafe said he went into the game confident that a good innings from one of Bangladesh's batsmen would change the mood around the team. But he stressed that the freshly-gained confidence must translate into consistency.
"I was confident, but if we kept thinking about what happened so far on the tour, this win wouldn't have been possible. We should have shown this consistency much earlier. We now have to keep at it," he said. "I had confidence that a good innings or two would change the picture. We have a good enough bowling attack in ODIs to defend 280 runs."
Bangladesh and West Indies play the second ODI, a day-night game, at the same venue on July 25.