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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

India vs Bangladesh: Rohit Sharma guides hosts to eight-wicket win

Rohit Sharma smashed 85 off 43 deliveries as India beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 international on Thursday to level the three-match series at 1-1.

cricket Updated: Nov 08, 2019 08:18 IST
Devarchit Verma
Devarchit Verma
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring fifty.
Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring fifty.(PTI)
         

‘Aggression’ was the word Rohit Sharma did not mention when he promised change in India’s approach for the second T20I against Bangladesh in Rajkot on Thursday. Following their first-ever defeat to Bangladesh in the shortest format, Sharma, who boasts a splendid T20 record as captain, had to work out something special to prevent the visitors from bagging their first-ever series win in India.

But he first needed his bowlers to deliver after winning the toss. They took their time to come good. After Bangladesh had raced to 59 in seven overs without any loss, India began clawing back into the match and eventually the series. Yuzvendra Chahal (2/28) joined hands with Deepak Chahar (1/25) and Washington Sundar (1/25) to bottle up Bangladesh for 153/6 despite Khaleel Ahmed’s poor spell. Sharma followed it up with an aggressive knock with the bat, producing one of his most brutal innings in T20Is to set up India for a final crack at the series in Nagpur this Sunday.

Playing his 100th T20I, Sharma looked set to extend his record of most T20I centuries (4), but fell for a 43-ball 89. His innings however had thrown the visitors off track as India completed an eight-wicket hammering to level the three-match affair with more than four overs to spare. He brought up his 18th half-century off only 23 deliveries, ending up hitting six sixes and as many fours.

What punched holes in Bangladesh’s sails was Sharma’s 118-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan who happily played second-fiddle in a 27-ball 31 until he was cleaned up by Aminul Islam. India were 63/0 in the first Powerplay. They were well past 100-run mark—113/0 in 10 overs—as Bangladesh fizzled out against India’s counterattack.

READ: Liton not stumped despite falling short of crease, thanks to Pant: Watch

India choosing to field signalled they had more confidence in their batsmen post the lacklustre defence put up by their bowlers in Delhi. However, Mohammad Naim (36 off 31 balls, 5x4s) and Liton Das’s (29 off 21 balls, 4x4s) opening stand for 60 runs promised Bangladesh a strong total on a placid wicket at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium here. Naim began where Mushfiqur Rahim left off in New Delhi—the left-handed opener hit boundaries off Ahmed’s first three balls in his first over. Naim continued his assault on Ahmed in his second over, hitting him for two more boundaries. Each of Naim’s five fours came off the wiry pacer.

Bangladesh hit a total of 16 fours and one six in their innings. Nine of those boundaries came off Ahmed, who finished with 4-0-44-1. His solitary wicket came in the form of Afif Hossain at a time when India were well and truly on top.

Rishabh Pant once again had a forgettable outing, largely due to his glovework. His third delivery of the match, Chahal lured Das to come out of crease, and the batsman obliged. Das missed, leaving Pant to complete formalities. In a rush of blood however, Pant collected the ball in front of the stumps before breaking them. After TV replays played out Pant’s howler, Das celebrated the reprieve with two consecutive fours off Chahal to take Bangladesh past 50.

Das got another lifeline when Rohit failed to hold on to a tough catch off a mishit at square-leg. But it was Pant who improvised to produce the first breakthrough for India. In Chahal’s next over—eighth of the innings—Das missed a googly which hit him on the top of his front pad, and went on to ricochet off Pant’s chest. The ball popped out in front, and Das took off for a run not realising where it had landed. Pant scampered to grab the ball quickly and ran out Das who was struggling with his left foot.

READ: Rohit Sharma joins Harmanpreet Kaur in illustrious list

India were fumbling until the first breakthrough, but Chahal, Chahar and Sundar quickly plugged the run flow. After leaking nine boundaries in the first six overs, India allowed only one four in the next four. Eventually, Bangladesh ended up with only six boundaries and one six in the last 10 overs.

Chahal, who showed great control over his turn and flight, stamped India’s authority in the 14th over when he removed Rahim (4) and Soumya Sarkar (30). Rahim was caught sweeping in the deep and Sarkar was stumped. The umpires went upstairs again to check Pant’s effort, and there was even a nervous moment when the display screen flashed ‘not out’ erroneously.

Bangladesh could not muster much from their lower-order batsmen, with captain Mahmudullah’s 21-ball 30 being the only double-digit score among four batsmen who batted in the final 10 overs.