Losing start for sub-par Tigers
Bangladesh suffered a heart-stopping one-run defeat against Virat Kohli's India during the ICC T20 World Cup in 2016. But they were nowhere near to put up even a decent fight against an Indian team sans Kohli at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.
The Tigers this time conceded a comprehensive six-wicket defeat in what was their opening game of the Nidahas Trophy tri-series. Bangladesh, sent into bat, scored a below-par 139 that India toppled with plenty of deliveries to spare and six wickets in hand.
They probably got the licensee from the team management to go for an all-out attack. But with six batsman and five bowlers in the line-up, which provided them the extra cushion, worked opposite when it comes to execution.
The over-attacking approach by the Tigers batsman right from the start eventually backfired as wickets fell at regular intervals and a single partnership of substance was missing.
India, which retained the same side that lost the tournament opener against the hosts Sri Lanka by five wickets, had no problem what so ever chasing down the modest target and eventually registered their first win of the series with eight balls to spare.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan continued his fine form with the bat. He followed up his career-best 90 against Sri Lanka with a seamless 55 off 43 balls which includes five fours and two sixes before being caught at widish long-on off pacer Taskin Ahmed. But it was too late for the Tigers as India had almost reached the target by that time.
Mustafizur Rahman dismissed India's stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma on 17 after the right hander played on to the stumps while another pacer Rubel Hossain picked up the wickets of Rishabh Pant (7) and Suresh Raina (28) but the Indian batsmen had the luxury to play freely with a small target on the board.
The damage was actually done during the Bangladesh innings where opener Soumya Sarkar paid the price of hitting away from his body. Smashing a beautiful six over deep fine-leg to pacer Jaydev Unadkat, the left-hander departed soon after, scoring 14 off 12 balls. He went for a flick a bit early to the same bowler and only managed to deposit a simple catch at the short fine leg.
Tamim Iqbal survived twice-- first dropped by Rohit at extra cover on six followed by a review after he was given leg before to pacer Shardul Thakur. But the left hander was finally dismissed going for a pull only to hand a catch at short fine-leg scoring 15.
Mushfiqur Rahim departed for 18. He became the maiden T20I victim of pacer Vijay Shankar while Mahmudullah was dismissed on a rather irresponsible manner on one. Liton Das top-scored with 34 off 30 balls and Sabbir Rahman added 30 at the end.
Bangladesh scored 44 runs losing two wickets in the first Powerplay. They added just 32 runs in the last five overs. And in a T20 game if you can't start well and fail to finish with a flourish you are not going to put a total to defend. The other disappointing aspect of Bangladesh's batting was the batsmen played too many dot deliveries in between those odd boundaries. The combined dot balls of a legitimate 120-ball innings stood at a staggering 55.
Bangladesh will play their next game against Sri Lanka on Saturday.