Samuels, Drakes, spur Windies to series win
By Tony Cozier in DHAKA
Stabroek News
December 4, 2002

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VASBERT DRAKES continued to make up for seven lost years under the lights of the Bangubandhu Stadium here last night.

The Barbadian fast bowler now 33 and in the evening of a professional career pursued mainly in South Africa and England, claimed most of the honours, and the cheques, that were going as the West Indies completed their predictable rout of sub-standard Bangladesh in the last of three One-day Internationals.

His four wickets for 33 in the victory by 85 runs earned him the Man of the Match award of US$1000. It was his third return of four wickets in the series, all but one in his opening burst, and was worth another US$1,000 for the most wickets on either side and he added yet another US$1,000 as Man of the Series.

Only Ramnaresh Sarwan, who collected US$1,000 for the most runs (168), interrupted Drakes haul.

It represented a happy return to the West Indies team for which Drakes was ineligible since his first fleeting appearance in the One-day Internationals against Australia in 1995.

In the interim, he plied his skills for South African province Border and English counties Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire to the exclusion of his native Barbados, disqualifying himself from West Indies selection under the board stipulation that demanded full participation in its tournaments.

He was accepted back into the fold like a prodigal son in August when the regulation was changed and he was a member of Barbados' champions team in the Red Stripe Bowl.

His performances along with all-round ability and experience, especially in South Africa where the World Cup is scheduled for next February and January, earned him selection on the current triangular tour of Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

He has not spurned the opportunity.

He has played in every match, had the most wickets (10) in the preceding, stimulating 4-3 triumph over India and has affirmed his professionalism here with a clinical demolition of Bangladesh's inexperienced top order.

His formula last night was the same as it was in the previous two matches direct, full length seam bowling enhanced by variations of pace.

The match was already realistically out of Bangladesh's reach by the time Drakes sent down the first ball of the innings.

Chris Gayle's 73 from 90 balls, Marlon Samuels' 77 from 101, with two sixes and four fours, their second wicket partnership of 108 off 24.3 overs and Ricardo Powell's closing, unbeaten 36 off 28 balls that included his obligatory six saw the West Indies to the highest total of the three, 281 for five.

When Bangladesh responded, Drakes was again quickly among their batsmen, despatching the first four in his first seven overs to leave them 42 for four and exposed to another night of misery.

Ehsanul Haque and Tushar Imran, two of Bangladesh's four teenagers who had been in the 'A' team in last year's Busta Cup in the Caribbean and were playing for the first time in the series, were lbw half-forward to deliveries that cut back.

Mohammed Ashraful, the 18-year-old whose promise was evident in his 44 the night before, tamely drove a catch to mid-on and Sanwar Hussain could only touch a hasty hook off a middle-stump bouncer to the keeper.

Bangladesh's aim after that was clearly to bat through the 50 allocated overs.

They managed it with nine wickets down but a classy, unbeaten 89 off 93 balls by Alok Kapali was a filip for a crowd that is fast growing tired of their team's struggles since its ill-advised elevation to full international status and only half-filled the 30,000 capacity stadium.

Kapali, 18, is another of their talented teenagers and he batted with increasing authority, even if there was an understandable nonchalance to the West Indies approach.

He and opener Anwar Hossain, who made 42, steadied the innings with a fifth wicket partnership 67 but it was only in the last 10 overs that Kapali revealed his finest strokes.

Like most batsmen from the Asian sub-continent, he was strongest with wristy strokes off his legs but there were also flowing drives through the off-side among his 10 fours and he spoiled Drakes' figures by taking 10 off his last over.

Daren Powell had a satisfatory one-day international debut that brought him the wicket of Anwar in his 10 overs and Gayle followed his 70 with three wickets at the end.

But the evening belonged to Drakes who now anticipates another another long sought after honour, selection for the first of two Tests starting here Sunday.

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