Thursday, March 24, 2016

India Keep Nerve to Clinch a Nail Biter against Bangladesh

India Vs Bangladesh – Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, 23rd March 2016 - ICC WT20 Match Review
India Defeat Bangladesh by 1 Run

It was a must win for both India and Bangladesh. The ground was packed to the rafters and there was a smattering of green amidst the sea of blue at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. The pitch was expected to be a batting beauty and the stage was all set for an important clash between India and its noisy neighbours.

Bangladesh won the toss and inserted India in to bat first, Tamim was back for them too providing a huge boost to their batting department. India started slowly as Mashrafe rotated his bowlers cleverly in the opening 6 power play overs. India lost Rohit Sharma off the last ball of the 6th over to Mustafizur after two sixes had been stuck in that over – one by each opener. Shakib trapped Dhawan leg before in the very next over to put the skids on further.

Raina, played his initial few balls like he has done in the recent past – struggling for timing and jumping and prodding all over the place. Kohli, on the other hand was just looking for singles at this stage. Raina slugged a couple of sixes in the 11th over to inject some momentum in the Indian innings but Shakib and Mashrafe bowled two quiet overs to pull things back. It was a cat and mouse game, the pitch was slower than expected and the ball was not coming on to the bat nicely.

In the 14th over bowled by Shuvagata Hom, Kohli hit a flat six but was bowled trying to repeat the dose again and India were in a spot of bother as Dhoni promoted Pandya up the order to up the sagging run rate. Pandya clattered a huge six off his second delivery and creamed Shakib – their best bowler on view for two boundaries in the very next over.

But Al-Amin Hossain returned to first pick Raina as he mistimed another slog to mid-wicket before Soumya Sarkar took a blinder to dismiss Hardik Pandya – he intercepted a full blooded pull shot by diving full length at deep mid wicket and picked up the catch with both hands. Yuvraj continued to look clueless in his short stay while Dhoni, Jadeja and Ashwin all tried to hit out without much success as India posted 146/7 in their 20 overs.

Bangladesh got a boundary off the first ball as Bumrah mis-fielded a ball at fine leg before Nehra dropped Tamim off his own bowling. Ashwin came in to the attack in the 3rd over and stuck immediately – getting Mithun out caught at long on by an elated Pandya. Bumrah was having a shocker in the field as he dropped a dolly to reprieve Tamim off the bowling of Ashwin. Tamim punished the young Indian pacer by hitting 4 boundaries in his next over as he wilted under the pressure. At the other hand Sabbir Rahman was also playing some delectable shots, he had hit a huge six off Ashwin which almost went in the second tier! Bangladesh at 45/1 after an action packed 6 overs.

Jadeja came in the 8th over and removed the dangerous Tamim getting him stumped as he charged down the pitch. India then had a moment of luck as Sabbir was out stumped as Dhoni disturbed the bails just at the correct time – Sabbir’s feet had lifted momentarily and it was exactly at the same time that Dhoni took the bails off. Mashrafe decided to promote himself up the order and just like Pandya he too clobbered a six off the second delivery that he faced. Ashwin dropped Shakib in the meanwhile as Pandya gave away 20 off his first two overs.

Jadeja returned to snare Mashrafe in the 12th over before Ashwin got rid of the dangerous Shakib in his final over to jolt the Bangla run chase. At the end of 13 overs Bangladesh required 51 off 42 balls with 5 wickets in hand. Sarkar and Mahmudullah were at the crease. Both the teams played sensibly after that as Bangladesh looked to collect the singles while India were happy with the increasing runs required and balls remaining equation.

It came down to the final over bowled by Hardik Pandya as Bangladesh required 11 to win and 10 to take the match in the super over. Mahmudullah got a single off the first ball and Mushfiqur then smashed two 4’s in two balls to bring the equation down to a simple 2 off 3 balls for Bangladesh. It was this precise moment that Bangladesh, instead of playing with a calm head and looking for a single went berserk. Mushfiqur was out off the fourth delivery pulling the ball in the air and was easily caught by Dhawan in the deep. The cool Mahmudullah then commited a blunder by hitting a juicy full toss towards Jadeja in the deep who does not drop many and he accepted the gift with glee. When Shuvagata Hom could not lay bat to ball off the final delivery and Dhoni ran out Mustafizur as the batsmen scrambled to steal a bye, the crowd erupted and the ICC WT20 2016 had seen its first nail biter!!

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