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India Seals Semifinals Spot, Rohit and Bowlers Execute

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 • Common Sport News Comments

#BANvsIND #Birmingham #CWC2019 

India opt to bat 

India (Playing XI): Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

In: Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 

Out: Kedhar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav 

Bangladesh (Playing XI): Tamim Iqbal, Soumyainj Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Liton Das, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

In: Shabir Rahman, Rubel Hossain 

Out: Mahamadullah, Mehedy Hasan Miraz

Coming into bat first, the Indian openers stood firm to stitch together the best opening partnership in the tournament surpassing the stand of Roy and Bairstow (160 in 22 overs) on Sunday in India's previous match at the same venue. Rohit was on the attack mode after having being given a second life on 9 as Tamim Iqbal put down a chance at mid-wicket. Meanwhile, Rahul was in steady mode. 

Rohit Sharma's departure was in the 30th over (29.2) when the score was 180. He reached his 4th century in this tournament and departed after scoring 104 runs off 92 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. He became only the second man to score 4 centuries in a single World Cup in the history of the tournament. Kumar Sangakkara had done it in the previous edition and he did it in four consecutive matches. Overall, it became his 26th ton in ODIs and his 5th century in World Cups. His first World Cup ton actually came against the same opposition and in an eventual winning cause in the quarter-final of the 2015 edition which was played at the MCG. Rohit miscued a length delivery by Sowmya Sarkar and Liton Das completed the catch at cover.

Exactly three overs and a ball later, Rahul's vigil came to an end as Rubel's off-cutter took the under edge and keeper Rahim pouched it safely. Rahul faced 92 balls for his 77 featuring six fours and a six. Virat Kohli was the next to fall when the score was 237 in the 39th over’s second ball. He pulled the ball straight to deep mid-wicket in a quest to accelerate. His innings of 26(27) had 3 fours in it.

Hardik Pandya faced just 2 balls and got out of the second without scoring in the same over by Mustafizur. The promotion of him in the batting order didn't work to the expected level yet again in the tournament excluding the match versus Australia. Rishabh Pant, who came in at number four today, played an attacking hand and enjoyed partnerships of 42 and 40 with Kohli and Dhoni respectively before slowing down a touch when he was nearing what would have been the first half-century in ODI cricket. He eventually perished for 48 off 41, by holding out to deep backward square to Mosaddek Hossain who caught the ball in the second grab, by virtue of a top edge in an attempt to sweep. Pant's blitz had six fours and one six. The way he fearlessly took on Saifuddin and smacked three consecutive fours in the 40th over, which came immediately after Mustafizur's double-wicket maiden over, was fabulous to watch considering this match was only Pant's 8th ODI.

Dinesh Karthik who came in next, got out for 8(9) 1x4 as an amazing slower bouncer by Mustafizur did the better of him and DK couldn't avoid mistiming it straight to Moseddek, this time at mid-wicket. Dhoni, who accelerated and was looking to take on the pacers, became the big scalp of the "Fizz" in the last over's 3rd ball as Shakib took a top edge at mid-on. His 35(32) had four boundaries. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar tried to scamper through for a single off a wide and vanished as Rahim and Shakib executed the run out as a keeper-bowler duo. In the next ball, the actual legitimate ball, Shami dragged it on to the stumps as Fizz took a five-for. 

India finished at 315/8 as the batting collapse resulted in a scoreline of 63/5 of the last ten overs. If the breakdown goes to the last 20 overs, that reads a shocking 130/8 with Mustafizur finishing his masterclass job of 5/59 including a maiden and 29 dot balls overall. Shakib's 41/1 in his quota, had as many as 32 dots. Sowmya Sarkar gave yet another decent hand with the ball by bowling 6 overs and giving away only 33 in a stint that had 15 dot balls. Contrary to these, Saifuddin (0/59(7), Captain Mortaza (0/36(5) and Mosaddek 0/32(8) were at the suffering end. 

In chase of 316, at the exact point of 9.3 overs, Tamim chopped on a low in-slanter by Shami to the stumps and fell as the first wicket after scoring 22(31) with 3 fours. Bangladesh were 40/1 in the mandatory powerplay, wherein India were 69/0 at the same stage of the end of first ten overs. In the second ball of the 12th over, India missed a review in an attempt to claim LBW to Shami for Sarkar's wicket. The end result showed that it was too close to call between the ball and the bat at the point of impact and it would have been not out anyway.

Fortunately in a short while, in the first ball of the 16th over, just when Sowmya Sarkar was looking in full flow, he smashed Hardik's short and wide delivery straight into the hands of Kohli at short extra cover and perished for 33 (38) 4x4 against the run of play. The outrageous celebration of Captain Kohli (pointing at the batsman and signalling he's out after the dismissal) and the eventual intervention of the umpires and the vice-captain Rohit Sharma occurred and drinks break was called at that juncture.

From 74/2 (16.2) to 121/2 (22.5) the famous Bangladeshi duo of Rahim and Shakib looked threatening. Chahal picked up Rahim in the last ball of the over (23) after having given a four to him earlier. Chahal tossed up the ball and Rahim swept it towards square leg. Shami, the only fielder stationed inside the leg side ring, completed the catch safely.

Hardik Pandya picked up his second wicket by dismissing Liton Das for 22(24 ) 1x6). Hardik's short delivery led to the downfall of Liton as the top edge got taken by Dinesh Karthik at around mid-wicket in the circle. Shakib ran out of partners even though he completed his 46th half century and his sixth score of 50+ in this tournament.

At 32.2, Moseddek played on and got out bowled by Bumrah. Bangladesh was reduced to 173/5 at that stage. In the very next over, Hardik took the most crucial wicket of Shakib. Shakib's lone battle of 66 off 74 with 6 fours saw an end through a slower ball which made him chip it to Dinesh Karthik at extra cover despite having moved elsewhere beforehand. 179/6 (33.2) it was and it looked like almost virtually all over for Bangladesh.

Yet, Shabbir Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin put up an extremely intense and meteoric stand featuring a string of boundaries. There came a situation wherein Bangladesh needed 90 off the final ten overs. The 66 run stand came to an end in the first ball of the 44th over as Bumrah's slower ball hit the leg stump and made Shabbir's stint come to an end. Although Shabbir had five fours in his knock, it was still 36 off 36. 

245/7 became 257/8 When Mashrafe got out immediately after hitting Bhuvaneshwar for a six. Dhoni took a diving catch off Bhuvaneshwar's slower one and the Bangladesh captain departed for 8(5). Saifuddin was still at the wicket with 7 fours to his credit in his 38 off 30 and Bangladesh needed 51 off 30 with 2 wickets left. Bumrah cleaned up Rubel (9 off 11 1x4) and Mustafizur for a golden duck to complete the formalities and seal the match by 28 runs.

Rohit Sharma was adjudicated the man of the match. Having qualified for the semifinals by eliminating Bangladesh en route, Team India will travel to Leeds for the last round-robin fixture vs Sri Lanka on Saturday. 

-Kumaran Kumanan

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