India put up a near-flawless performance to maul Bangladesh in their first Super 4 clash here on Friday.
On Wednesday, after being asked to field, India’s bowling unit had wrapped Pakistan up for 162. Cut to Friday, India inserted the opposition and the bowlers in blue reprised the act by bowling Bangladesh out for 173.
Rollicking opening stand
A target of 174 wasn’t going to test India’s batting unless the openers perished early. But Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma took the fizz out of the chase with a 61-run stand. Once Dhawan, after dominating the partnership, missed a sweep off Shakib Al Hasan, Rohit took the lead and responded by pulling the left-arm spinner for a six.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who walked in much to the holiday crowd’s delight after Ambati Rayudu was adjudged caught behind with India 68 runs adrift, displayed some of his big-hitting prowess to please the spectators. After Dhoni holed out to the deep while trying to hit the winning runs, Rohit finished the proceedings with more than 13 overs to spare.
Had it not been for Ravindra Jadeja’s inspired spell on is return to the ODI team after almost 15 months, the victory may not have been so smooth. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah being as relentless as ever, the trio drew mistakes in plenty from the Bangladesh batsmen and restricted the total to 173.
Perhaps it was the fatigue of playing back-to-back games, or thinking too much about the abrupt change in the Super 4 schedule, that may have made the Bangladesh batsmen lose focus and the Indian bowlers’ work easier with soft dismissals.
Start of the collapse
Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto started on a cautious note. But once Kedar Jadhav lunged forward at deep backward square to latch on to a top-edge from Liton, off a Bhuvneshwar bouncer in the fifth over, it set the tone for the day.
The next over saw Shanto chasing a Bumrah delivery that was pitched outside off and his slash was caught by Dhawan on the second attempt.
At 16 for two, Bangladesh looked up to the old guard of Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim to rebuild the innings. However, Shakib perished due to a lapse in concentration in Jadeja’s eventful opening over.
The spinner overstepped on his second ball and the free-hit was ruled a ‘dead ball’ since the bowler delivered the ball even when his captain wanted to reset the field.
The next ball was punched through covers and Shakib swept the ball after that through the vacant square-leg region. It prompted a change in field, which the batsman didn’t notice and ended up spooning the next ball straight to Dhawan at square leg.
Mushfiqur, too, gifted his wicket away, with a reverse sweep straight to Yuzvendra Chahal at point, soon after Mohammad Mithun was trapped in front by Jadeja.
At 65 for five, Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain tried to get some semblance to the scoreboard. But their 36-run association ended abruptly with the former being adjudged leg-before despite the ball ricocheting to the pad off his bat. Bangladesh couldn’t ask for a review as it didn’t have any left. Jadeja struck for the fourth time when Mosaddek nicked to Dhoni.
Captain Mashrafe Mortaza and off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz then added 66 for the eighth wicket to avoid Bangladesh being bowled out cheaply but their efforts were never going to be enough to put India under pressure.