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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

India steamroll Bangladesh, set up ICC Champions Trophy final vs Pakistan

Indian cricket team is a win away from a third ICC Champions Trophy title after rolling over Bangladesh in a semifinal match at Birmingham. India clash with Pakistan in Sunday’s final.

icc-champions-trophy-2017 Updated: Jun 16, 2017 00:30 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, Birmingham
India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli congratulates Rohit Sharma after the opener reached his century during their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal against Bangladesh cricket team at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Thursday.
India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli congratulates Rohit Sharma after the opener reached his century during their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal against Bangladesh cricket team at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Thursday.(Getty Images)

In the city of Cadbury World, India tasted sweet success as Virat Kohli’s men stormed into the final of the ICC Champions Trophy with an emphatic nine-wicket win against Bangladesh at the Edgbaston cricket ground. India will play a mouth-watering final against Pakistan at The Oval on Sunday. (IND vs BAN HIGHLIGHTS)

Rohit Sharma (123 not out), who struck his 11th ODI century, and Shikhar Dhawan milked the four-pronged Bangladesh pace attack with gay abandon as India, the defending champions, never looked back after stepping on the gas right from the second over. (IND vs BAN SCORECARD)

Virat Kohli, who was unbeaten on 96, hit the winning four as India won with 59 balls to spare.

In a tournament full of twists and turns, India ended Bangladesh’s fairytale run with a commanding display, typical of a team used to big-match pressure.

Bangladesh, put into bat by India, paid the price for a reckless batting approach and their 264 for seven was a good 50 runs short on a wicket full of runs. India’s emphatic win underlined that fact that they are the tournament’s most complete side.

But for a 123-run third wicket stand between Tamim Iqbal (70) and Mushfiqur Rahim (61), Bangladesh failed to pace their innings and largely invited pressure by too many dot balls. Part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav plotted Bangladesh’s downfall with the wickets of Tamim and Mushfiqur.

Dhawan-Rohit fireworks

Having being bred over a rich diet of IPL, Indian batsmen know a thing or two about chasing scores. Dhawan and Rohit Sharma began in furious pace and singled out Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed for some special treatment.

Mustafizur, once the scourge of Indian batsmen, bowled the wrong lengths, allowing Dhawan the luxury to free his arms to drive and cut. The white ball has barely swung in English conditions and Taskin went for runs for failing to control his pace and bounce.

Rohit’s innings was perhaps more graceful. On Thursday, he looked more at comfort with his dodgy hamstring. Effectively, the opener moved his feet well, quickly got in line with the deliveries, easily transferred weight back on his right leg to score boundaries square off the wicket.

India suffered their first blow in the 15th over. Dhawan (46 off 34 balls) charged out to Mashrafe Mortaza and sliced a drive to the man at point. It injected new life to Bangladesh, both on and off the field, but momentarily.

On a sunny afternoon and in front of a record crowd, Edgbaston, drowned in saffron, white and green, gave Virat Kohli a lavish welcome to the crease. Kohli responded by scoring 50 off 42 balls and put on a match-winning 178-run stand off 153 balls with Sharma to put the game beyond a hapless Bangladesh.

Kohli’s arrival gave Rohit Sharma more freedom. It was Shakib Al Hasan’s turn for some spanking as Mortaza rotated his bowlers with little effect.

India’s 100 came off 98 balls as the scoring graph rocketed, Bangladesh went defensive. With the slip cordon off, runs came off clever nudges to the region behind point.

Kohli and Sharma delighted the crowd with copybook drives on both sides of the wicket as the dhols and conch shells came out heralding the good omens. Kohli’s innings blossomed as his rasping drives, all along the ground, deflated Mustafizur and Rubel Hossain.

India took just 39 balls to go from 100 to 150. Bangladesh fell back on its show bowlers to arrest the torrent of runs. Off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain joined the attack but it made no difference.

Reckless Bangladesh

Earlier, A reckless Bangladesh lost two wickets off seven balls at a crucial stage of their innings to hand India the advantage.

Jadhav turned the screws on Bangladesh with the big wickets of Tamim and Mushfiqur. This came at a stage when Bangladesh were consolidating their innings and looked good for a score close to 300.

Kohli’s decision to introduce Kedar Jadhav proved to be a master-stroke. The pressure of dot balls forced two set batsman to make silly errors. Tamim and Mushfiqur’s third wicket stand came after Bangladesh were down to 31 for two in the seventh over.

Tamim scored his 38th ODI fifty and Mushfiqur got his 26th but Bangladesh needed more than that from two of their best batsmen.

Bangladesh, playing their first semifinal of an ICC tournament at this level, tried to take the game by the scruff of its neck but that ploy did not work.

India retained the playing XI that smashed South Africa by eight wickets at The Oval on Sunday. Jasprit Bumrah shared the new ball with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was rewarded for bowling a good off-stump line as the Bangladesh top order unnecessarily tried to force the pace in the first powerplay.

If Ravichandran Ashwin was ineffective on a flat batting wicket, Kedar Jadhav and Jadeja cleverly used the fuller length ball to good effect.

Shakib Al Hasan was a big disappointment, scoring just 15 on a big day. He too misjudged turn and length and perished edging to MS Dhoni, whose glovework was once again impeccable.

Bumrah returned for his final spell and his IPL experience came to fore. Two wickets in a space of 10 balls polished off the Bangladesh lower order. The below par total finally came to hurt Bangladesh, who saw their fairytale run end with a whimper.

First Published: Jun 15, 2017 15:38 IST

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