India get back to winning ways

The loss against Sri Lanka meant Team India had to re-group and put up a collective effort to overcome the obstacles they faced in the first match. Bangladesh have been struggling with their form for quite a while and this was India’s best chance to grab a victory. Eventually, Bangladesh added up to their tally of losses to make it fifth loss in a row. This was their sixth loss against Team India, making the head-to-head T20I record as 6-0. Rohit Sharma walked in with the same team and backed the young players even after a dismal performance in the first game. The numbers always favoured the Men in Blue in this fixture, and the bowlers were determined to prove that true, as India won the toss and chose to bat.

Soumya Sarkar looked dangerous early on, after he flicked a fuller delivery for a maximum. Jaydev Unadkat, however, made sure that the opener was back in the hut early. He bowled a similar delivery, invited him to play a similar shot, but the shorter length of the ball foxed the batsman who couldn’t time it properly and Chahal took a fine catch at short fine-leg. There were numerous sloppy moments in the field for India, but Bangladesh failed to capitalize on that. Tamim Iqbal departed soon and it was another catch at short fine-leg; this time it was a short delivery from Shardul Thakur. Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim perished for just 18 runs as Dinesh Karthik called for an instinctive review as soon as the umpire gave not-out. The ultra-edge confirmed his wicket with spikes and Vijay Shankar took his first wicket of the night. Bangladesh’s captain, Mahmudullah, couldn’t make any impact either. Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman’s partnership of 35 runs was the highest partnership of Bangladesh’s innings.

15 overs were up, and Bangladesh only had 107 on-board. Liton Das needed to shift gears but reading Chahal’s flighted deliveries was too much to ask for and he threw away his wicket after holding one end up for a while. Bangladesh’s innings crumbled further as they lost three more wickets. Left-arm pacer, Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers for India and clinched 3 wickets. The spinners, Chahal and Sundar, piled up enormous pressure with their economical bowling and bowled important overs in the middle phase. At the end of 20 overs, Bangladesh only managed to put up a total of 139 runs for the loss of 8 wickets.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the Indian innings on a good note. The Indian skipper played some beautiful shots for boundaries before departing for 17 runs as he played one Mustafizur delivery on to the stumps. Rishabh Pant was promoted up in the order, but the move didn’t pay off as he was another victim of inside edge, this time to Rubel Hossain. India were in a tricky position when Suresh Raina joined Shikhar Dhawan in the middle, but the pair bailed them out of trouble and took the attack to the opposition. The duo’s partnership of 68 runs took the game away from Bangladesh. India needed just 32 runs from 36 deliveries when Suresh Raina chipped one to square leg, but his 28 runs were vital in this low-scoring encounter. Dhawan couldn’t stay on the crease till the end as Taskin Ahmad’s slower delivery did the trick. Dhawan scored 55 runs off 43 balls and he was caught at long-on by Liton Das.

It was too late for Bangladesh to get back into the game and there was no trouble for Indian batsmen as they cruised towards the total to register their first win of the tri-series. It was a crucial win for Rohit Sharma & co. Shikhar Dhawan produced an amazing display of a match-winning innings with his second half-century in two games. Manish Pandey, too, played a good innings towards the end with his unbeaten 27 runs off 19 balls. India will now take on the hosts again on 12th March at the same venue, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.


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