Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rohit Sharma, Bowlers Land India in Semi Final of CWC15

Bangladesh vs India at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Mar 19, 2015 - Match Review

India beat Bangladesh by 109 Runs.

The MCG was supposed to have been jam packed with around 90,000 spectators for the India-Bangladesh Quarter Final clash. It was not even half filled but the noise and color that the fans from both the countries presented more than made up for it. Dhoni won the toss and decided that India would bat first. India were unchanged while Bangladesh welcomed back their skipper Mashrafe Mortaza while also recalling the young quickie Taskin Ahmed.

Indian openers did not find the going easy but they were still able to pierce the infield and hit at least a boundary every over. Spin was introduced by Mashrafe as the quicks were unable to make a breakthrough and the wily Shakib deceived Shikhar Dhawan in the flight to have him stumped. The Bangladeshi fans roared. Virat Kohli was worked over by Rubel Hossain with a wonderful display of fast bowling and Bangladesh were on top with the Indian run rate going nowhere and two of the inform batsmen back in the hutch.

The situation did not improve as Ajinkya Rahane struggled to get his timing right and made a painstaking 19 off 37 balls before being undone by Taskin Ahmed as he chipped a catch to short cover. That brought the centurion from the last match, Suresh Raina to the pitch but the Bangladesh bowlers were in the zone. Raina huffed and puffed his way to 10 off 19 balls before the powerplay was taken.

At this point India were going at under 4.5 runs per over and seemed to be in total control of the match. But a close lbw decision went against them as they lost a review and Rohit should have been given out as he was caught off a high full toss but the umpire signaled it as a no ball. There was no looking back for the Indians after those moments and the Bangladeshis appeared that they had been robbed, rightly so too. India made 50 for no loss in the powerplay. The momentum had swung, and how. Raina departed when the score was on 237 after scoring an important 65 off just 57 balls.

Rohit went on to complete a sublime century, an innings in which he curbed a lot of his natural instincts and played with a lot of maturity. He too departed, bowled by Taskin after hitting 137 off just 126 balls.  Jadeja provided the finishing touches with a rapid 23 in just 10 balls even as MSD struggled with his timing at the other end. India made 302 off their allotted 50 overs, which had to be a par score with a good pitch and a fast outfield.

Bangladesh started well, Tamim Iqbal giving glimpses of his assault that left India stunned in 2007 but this time around he could not go on. Imrul Kayes was involved in a mindless run out the very next ball and suddenly Bangladesh was under a lot of pressure. Soumya Sarkar and the in form Mahmudullah stitched a partnership and gave a ray of hope but they both departed within a space of 3 overs.

Shakib and Mushfiqur have been the batting mainstays for Bangladesh but they dawdled around not hitting the gaps and unable to get their timing right. Umesh Yadav, Jadeja and Shami all claimed wickets in quick intervals and dented the chase every time the batsmen tried to take a risk. Ashwin was tight as he has been right through the tournament. Bangladesh were bowled out for 193 as India romped home by 109 runs.

India celebrate their Quarter Final win over Bangladesh by 109 runs at the MCG

The margin of victory looks bigger than what it really was. Bangladesh were at the top for almost 35 overs while India were batting. They looked good when they were 70-2 while batting. A little more experience at playing the knockouts might have given them a better chance of competing with India. India had bowled out an opposition for the 7th straight game running, a feat that must warm the hearts of every Indian fan.

India will face the winner of tomorrows Quarter Final clash between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG. The games will get bigger from here on in, the competition tougher and the stakes higher.

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