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Clinical India outclass Bangladesh
Once again, it was India’s Rohit Sharma who turned out to be Bangladesh’s nemesis in an ICC event as the opener on Thursday smashed an unbeaten hundred toguide his side to the grand finale of the 2017 Champions Trophy, where Pakistan liein wait.
Skipper Virat Kohli (96) was unbeaten alongside Rohit (123) as India thrashed the Tigers by nine wickets to progress to the final, scheduled for Sunday at Kennington Oval.It was a dominating display by the Indian batsmen in Birmingham with only Shikhar Dhawan (46) making his way to the dressing room.
With that said, the Tigers can rightly hold their head up high as they recently qualified for the last four of an ICC event for the first time in history.Earlier, Bangladesh gave away some unnecessary wickets in the middle part of their innings and it proved to be costly as they fell 30-40 runs short after posting 264 for the loss of seven wickets from 50 overs.
The Tigers made the worst possible start after being asked to bat as Soumya Sarkar continued his poor run, having been dismissed without troubling the scorers. Heplayed onto his stumps in the very first over, bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Sabbir Rahman started off confidently, opening his account with a cracking drive on the up in his first ball off Jasprit Bumrah.The right-hander hoicked one over mid-off coming coming down the track to Bhuvneshwar for a magnificent boundary and finished the over in even better fashion, unleashing a square drive for a four to take 10 runs from the third over.
At the other end, Tamim Iqbal started off quite cautiously, hitting his first boundary courtesy an outside edge. His intentions were quite clear, which was to stay at the wicket for as long as possible.However, Sabbir, who looked promising initially, was caught at point off a loose Bhuvneshwar delivery outside of off stump.
The ball was there to be hit but he eventually departed for 19.Prior to his dismissal, there were 13 dot balls as pressure slowly started to get to the Bangladesh batsmen. And after Sabbir’s departure, the Tigers were reeling on 31/2 inside seven overs.
Mashrafe bin Mortaza ponders what mighthave beenDHAKA TRIBUNEIn came Mushfiqur Rahim, as he along with Tamim, started to rebuild the initial damage. The latter did struggle to middle the ball early on but slowly started to gain confidence.
Tamim in the meantime played some delicate cuts while the first six of the innings also came from the southpaw’s bat when he came down the track and struck a magnificent flick over deep-mid wicket region off the bowling of Hardik Pandya in the 17th over.
Tamim soon reached his 38th fifty from 62 balls with a reverse sweep off Ravindra Jadeja. He went on to smack three consecutive fours off Ravichandran Ashwin to take 13 runs from the 22nd over. Mushfiqalso registered a fifty, his 26th, from 61 deliveries as both the batsmen put the Indian fielders under pressure. At the halfway stage, the Tigers were well in control, batting on 142/2.
But just when Bangladesh looked to stretch the partnership and go for a big total, India earned a well deserved wicket after some brilliant fielding. Tamim, who missed out on a poor delivery off Kedar Jadhav went for a big shot only to depart after scoring 70 off 82 balls with seven fours and a six. The third wicket stand between Tamim and Mushfiq fetched 123 runs.
Following Tamim’s departure, it was a sorry batting display from the Tigers as they went on to lose four more wickets from the 28th over to the 50th, managing to score just 12 boundaries. Five of those came off Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s willow.Mashrafe remained unbeaten on 30 off 25 balls at the end to enable the Tigers to a decent enough total.
Centurion of the previous game, Shakib al Hasan, fell cheaply off Jadeja for 15, while Mushfiq would be cursing himself after getting out off a full toss delivery from Jadhav. He made 61 off 85 deliveries with four boundaries.
Mahmudullah too perished soon after for 21 while Mosaddek Hossain fared little better, making 15. At one point, it looked Bangladesh will not be able to go past the 250-mark. However, skipper Mashrafe did his part with the bat at the end.
The Tigers added just 35 in their last five overs, but one must also give credit to the Indian bowlers, especially Bumrah, who bowled brilliantly in the latter stages of theinnings, as he, along with Bhuvneshwar andJadhav all took two wickets each.
India 265/1 in 40.1 overs (Rohit 123*, Kohli 96*) beat Bangladesh 264/7 (Tamim 70, Mushfiq 61) by nine wickets.