India punished Bangladesh for their lackluster display in the field and in the end came out in front by 45 runs in the opening game of Asia Cup 2016 at Mirpur today.
India’s bowlers struck at regular intervals, and didn’t allow any partnership cross 35 for Bangladesh. Nehra was the star bowler with three wickets for 23 in four overs. Bumrah, Pandya and Ashwin took a wicket each.
|India v Bangladesh|
|Bangladesh: 121/7 (20/20 over)|
|India: 166/6 (20.0/20 over)|
Sabbir was the highest scorer for Bangladesh today with his 44. The next highest run maker for Tigers during their miserable batting performance was Mushfiqur’s 16 not out.
India smelled victory after the 17th over bowled by the seasoned Ashish Nehra. India’s bowler managed to take two wickets in two balls and knocked the wind out of Bangladesh’s sails.
Mortaza was gone for a first-ball duck when he sliced a wide ball straight into the lap of Jadeja at point.
Mahmudullah failed to make an impression with the bat. His half-hearted shot off a full toss from Nehra found the fielder in the deep. The lack of power in his shot brought Mahmudullah’s downfall.
Victory seemed a bridge too far for Bangladesh after they lost the important wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman with the required run-rate touching 15.
Sabbir was dismissed in the 15 th over. His 44 off 32 balls with two fours and two sixes kept Bangladesh in the game. Pandya sent him back to the delight of Indian players.
Bangladesh continue to sink…
India’s luck favoured in the 13th over when Shakib slipped while turning back for a run and was caught well short of the crease. Shakib’s disappointing day ended with a dismal failure with the bat.
Shakib managed only three runs before he was dismissed.
India found themselves on the driver’s seat after the tenth over as Imrul Kayes was dismissed for 14 runs.
Imrul struggled to get the ball away, faced 24 balls and was frustrated with the ball beating his edge for the umpteenth time.
Bangladesh were rocked by the fourth over when India’s Bumrah sent back Soumya Sarkar for 11. Soumya tried to defend a short ball but the extra bounce produced the edge to the keeper.
India struck an early blow when Nehra got the better of Mohammad Mithun in the third over of Bangladesh’s chase.
Mithun targeted the leg side with a swipe but failed to connect, only to see his off stump pegged back.
Nehra angled the ball across the right-hander, pitched on a good length just outside off and swung it back to hit off stump. He got good swing and was on the money from ball one.
Earlier, India piled up 166 for the loss of six wickets thanks to Rohit Sharma’s 83 and Hardik Pandya’s late cameo against Bangladesh under the lights at Mirpur.
India’s fourth wicket stand of 55 involving Yuvraj, Rohit and the 61-run partnership between Rohit and Pandya late in the innings gave India some much needed runs for a challenging total.
Rohit’s 83 came from 55 balls and contained seven fours and three sixes. Pandya smashed 31 from 18 with four fours and a six.
For Bangladesh, the last five overs leaked 79 runs when the bowlers lost the plot and sprayed the ball all over the place.
India lost their fifth and sixth wickets in the last over bowled by Al-Amin. Rohit was caught in the deep in the second ball while Pandya was sent back in the fourth.
Pandya got a full delivery that he hammered down the throat of Mahmudullah. Rohit smashed a short of a length ball towards mid-wicket where Soumya took a superb running catch.
Al-Amim was the most successful bowler for his side, and he took three wickets for 37 in four overs. Mashrafe took a wicket but conceded 40 runs in four overs. Mustafizur had an off day and was carted for 40 in his quota of overs.
Shakib Al Hasan compensated for his drop catch by sending back Yuvraj Singh for 15 in the 15th over to stall India’s progress late in the innings.
Yuvraj went for his slog-sweep, connected well, in fact too well for his liking as the ball went straight to Soumya at deep mid-wicket.
India’s hopes rested on Rohit Sharma, who made the most of the drop catch by Shakib in the 11th over and scored freely to score his tenth fifty in T20Is today.
Rohit reached his fifty off 42 balls with four fours and a glorious six off Taskin
Mirpur crowd had plenty to cheer about after Mahmudullah struck in the 8th over, and sent back Raina back to the pavilion for only 13 runs.
Mahmudullah bowled it pretty slow again from round the wicket, Raina came well out of the crease to drive down the ground but got nowhere close to the ball that came in instead of turning away and snuck through the bat-pad gap!
Bangladesh turning the screws on India!
Bangladesh got their second wicket, that too of the in-form Virat Kohli in the fifth over when captain Mashrafe struck in his first over.
Virat who was earlier in a spot of bother while facing Mustafizur wanted to hit a big shot to ease the tension but failed to clear the field.
Indian cricket’s pin-up boy went down the pitch to loft the ball over mid-off, but only managed to lob a simple catch to Mahmudullah. Virat fell for eight runs.
Mirpur Stadium erupted with a roar in the second over when a beauty of a delivery from Al-Amin uprooted Shikhar Dhawan’s off stump.
Dhawan went with his expansive drive but the ball nipped back, went through the gap between bat and pad and sent the off stump for a cart-wheel!
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and opted to field first on the Mirpur pitch that has a slight green tinge to it with all the rain around Dhaka.
Bangladesh's limited-overs team has maintained their Mirpur stronghold jealously since failing to chase 106 against India in 2014. They have played 19 matches and won 14 of them.
The trouble is, out of those five losses, three have come in T20Is. With their one-day cricket in prime order, the coach Chandika Hathurusingha has been concentrating on building skills that are vital to success in the shortest format.
The team goes into the Asia Cup after a couple of camps in Khulna and Chittagong.
India are not light on preparation either. They have been playing T20 cricket since the start of the year (the carnival continues through to May with the IPL) and are quite certain of their first XI.
The only issue might be some of the players in that XI have not had enough match practice. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and the returning Virat Kohli have been merciless in their plunder of runs that the middle order has not had much to do.
Over six matches, Yuvraj Singh has faced only 26 balls and rookie allrounder Hardik Pandya 18. India do not seem to be worried though, as both Dhoni and Kohli have said their players are well tuned to T20 cricket thanks to the IPL.
MS Dhoni (Captain, Wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, S Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, RA Jadeja, V Kohli, B Kumar, P Negi, A Nehra, HH Pandya, PA Patel†, AM Rahane, SK Raina, RG Sharma and Yuvraj Singh
Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Taskin Ahmed