Miraz scripts one-wicket shock against India
Bangladesh score 51 runs for the 10th wicket in thriller to take 1-0 lead
These are indeed difficult times for India. Less than a month ago, they lost the T20 World Cup semi-final to England by 10 wickets. On Sunday, they scraped to a below-par total before Bangladesh scripted an astonishing comeback, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman adding 51 runs for the 10th wicket—the fourth highest by any team in a successful chase—to beat India by one wicket at Dhaka’s Shere Bangla National Stadium and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Bangladesh should have won the game much earlier and with more wickets to spare but India bowled exceptionally well to bounce back. Deepak Chahar got a wicket first ball of the innings, Mohammed Siraj removed the dangerous Mushfiqur Rahim and Washington Sundar dislodged captain Litton Das and the experienced Shakib Al Hasan, who had earlier taken a match-altering 5/36. Reduced to 136/9 in the 40th over, expedited by the implosion where they lost Mahmudullah and Rahim in consecutive balls, Bangladesh seemed all but out of the chase. Miraz and Rahman had other ideas though.
Rahman presented the full face of the bat and put a price on his scalp as Miraz went about knocking off the runs in a stunning counterattack, hitting four boundaries and two sixes in the process. The pressure soon started to tell. The bowling was wayward, overthrows were conceded but the tipping point really came in the 43rd over when KL Rahul dropped a skier from Miraz despite donning the wicketkeeper’s gloves and getting all the time in the world to safely pouch it. Miraz used that life to hit plonk three boundaries off Chahar in the next over and bring Bangladesh within 14 runs of the target. “Mustafizur and I just thought that we need to believe,” said Miraz after the match. “I just told him to stay calm and play 20 balls.”
It says a lot when a bowling side fails to get the 10th wicket despite being dominant. More than the bowling intent, tactics come under the scanner at that juncture. The fielding came up short. And Rohit Sharma persisting with fast bowlers when the dew was setting in was a questionable tactic when Washington Sundar—who had an economy of 3.4—still had five overs up his sleeve.
Ultimately, this loss again boils down to the batters’ inability to adapt as they were consistently troubled by Shakib’s slow bowling and Ebadot Hossain’s bounce. Shikhar Dhawan dragged Miraz on to his stumps, Sharma was bowled by Shakib’s arm ball, Virat Kohli was caught brilliantly at extra cover and Shreyas Iyer fell to a miscued pull off Hossain. Only Rahul looked most comfortable during his innings of 73 on a two-paced Mirpur surface but it was nowhere enough to challenge Bangladesh. “Another 30-40 runs would have made a difference,” said Sharma. “With KL and Washy, we could have got there. Unfortunately, we lost wickets in the middle, and it is not easy to come back. The pitch was a bit challenging, the odd ball was turning. There are no excuses, we are used to such types of conditions. We need to look at how to bat against their spinners in these conditions.”