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What went wrong with Indian bowling

The performance of B'desh batsmen in the match shows Indian bowlers were not at their best today, writes Atul Sondhi.

cricket Updated: May 10, 2007 18:31 IST

Initial blows

The root of Bangladesh's big score was in the beginning. Especially in the fourth and the fifth overs. Some wayward bowling, mainly from Zaheer Khan allowed them to race to 30 (from six for none after three overs). Thanks to these 24 runs in two overs, Bangladesh were sitting pretty at 47 for no loss at the end of the first power play. Incidentally, the rest of the eight overs had accounted for just 23 runs!

Off-colour Zaheer

His erratic first spell gave Bangladesh lots of confidence. Tamim Iqbal especially took liking to Zaheer, taking 21 runs off the 18 balls he faced from him in the first spell. Javed Omar was more sedate, getting just 5 runs off 13 balls. The 33 runs he gave away in his first five overs, allowed Bangladesh off the hook.

In fact, even later in the innings when India were looking to dominate with just 21 runs coming in seven overs between 18th and 24th over, Zaheer's sixth (innings 25th) over costing 9 runs again shifted the momentum towards Bangladesh.

Sreesanth's injury

Only 14 runs of just five overs was a tremendous performance. He could have been handy in the slog overs with tremendous control, but injury took him out of the equation.

India's bad luck turns good for Tamim

Fourth ball of Sreesanth's first over (Innings second) to Tamim Iqbal saw a tremendous catch by diving Dhoni, but it was not given. TV replays suggested a thick edge, which went unnoticed by the home umpire. It would have made Bangladesh one wicket down for no run. The pair went on to make 78 runs for the 1st wicket at a respectable 4.6 runs per over.

But in between, Tamim got a second life as well. This time off Zaheer. It was the second ball of innings seventh over. The Southpaw flashed at a full-length ball outside the off and got an edge. It however flew between the keeper and the, little wider, first slip. Neither Dhoni nor Sehwag moved. Bangladesh remained at 30 for none.

However, Bangladesh could even have touched 270-280 but for two reasons.

Dinesh's 1st spell

Tremendous first spell by Dinesh Mongia! He kept consistent line and length and gave India their first breakthrough. Mongia's four overs for 14 runs was gem of a first spell. His eventual figures of 3 wickets for 49 runs against some well set Bangladeshis was something which even a frontline bowler can be proud of.

Intelligent move by Dravid

Second powerplay was taken in the 18th over after the 1st batsman was gone and not soon after the 10th over when both batsmen were well set. The waiting game paid dividend as it helped entrap Habibul Bashar, who tried to hit the very second ball he faced without settling in. Just 15 runs and one more wicket in the second powerplay suddenly had Bangladesh on the defensive.

However, Zaheer's lack of discipline in the second spell, had India losing the plot and giving away 26 runs in the next five overs of the 3rd powerplay. Zaheer's seven overs cost him 54. A letdown indeed.