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10/11/19 – International Cricket: Weekly recap – India beat Bangladesh 2-1 in the 3-match T20 series


1st T20I, Bangladesh tour of India at Delhi, Nov 3 2019

India – 148/6 from 20.0 overs / Bangladesh 154/3 from 19.3 overs – Bangladesh won by 7 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)

Mushfiqur Rahim’s unbeaten 60 off 43 balls gave Bangladesh their first-ever win against India in T20 cricket. This they achieved even without the world-class all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan, banned for two years on match fixing charges. Prior to the match at Delhi last Sunday, India had won all the eight encounters with its immediate neighbours.

India batted first and quickly lost skipper Rohit Sharma for 9. Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer tried to steady the innings but the Bangladeshi bowlers were able to put sustained pressure on the Indians as a result wickets kept falling at regular intervals – KL Rahul for 15 with the score at 2-36, Shreyas Iyer for 22 at 3-70, Shikhar Dhawan for 41 at 4-95. When Rishab Pant went for an unusually sedate 27, the score read 120 for 6 from 18.3 overs and looked as if the Indian innings wouldn’t even reach the 140-mark. But some very lusty hitting from Krunal Pandya (15 not out from 8 balls) and Washington Sundar (14 from only 5 balls) took India to a somewhat respectable 148-6 from the allotted 20 overs. All of Sundar’s runs came in the final over of the innings and had two massive sixes in it. For the visitors, leg-break bowler Aminul Islam was superb with figures of 2-22 from 3 overs. Islam found good support from experienced fast bowler Shafiul Islam (2-36) and right off-break bowler Afif Hossain who finished brilliantly at 1-11.

The visitors’ reply started badly with Liton Das being dismissed cheaply for 7, falling to debutant pacer Deepak Chahar. Playing only his 2nd T20 innings, Mohammad Naim along with Soumya Sarkar tried to anchor the Bangladeshi innings but Naim was dismissed for a well-made 26 with the score at 54-2 for 7.5 overs. The Tigers still didn’t look within reach of India’s total when Soumya Sarkar went for an attacking 39 off 35 balls (1 four and 2 sixes). The score at that juncture was 114-3 with 35 required to win from 18 balls. Mushfiqur’s late charge against Khaleel Ahmed completely changed the game especially when he clobbered 4 consecutive boundaries against in the paceman’s last over and took his team over the line with just three balls to spare. The 32-year old veteran of 83 T20s cut, pulled and drove in his superb innings of 60 not out that came from just 43 balls and had 8 boundaries and one hit over the fence in it. Bangladesh went 1-0 up in the three-match series after this win.

2nd T20I, Bangladesh tour of India at Rajkot, Nov 7, 2019

Bangladesh 153/6 from 20.0 overs / India – 154/2 from 15.4 overs /  India won by 8 wickets (with 26 balls remaining)

A quickfire 85 off 43 balls from skipper Rohit Sharma helped India beat Bangladesh comfortably at Rajkot and level the series at 1-1. Earlier on, put into bat by the hosts, the Bangladeshis began their innings in bright fashion ending the Powerplay (first 6 overs) with 54 for 0. This was aided by some erratic bowling and fielding by the Indians. Khaleel Ahmed was once again at the receiving end, Mohammad Naim spanking him for three consecutive boundaries in an over. The opening pair of Liton Das (29 off 21 balls) and Naim (36 off 31 balls) put on 60 for the first wicket from just 7.2 overs. By the time Naim was dismissed, the Tigers’ scoreboard read 83-2 from 10.3 overs and the innings going at a healthy clip. Mushfiqur Rahim, the hero of the 1st T20 didn’t last long this time and got out cheaply for just 4. A very attacking 30 off 20 balls from Soumya Sarkar (scoring the lone six of the innings) took the visitors past the three-figure mark in just 12 overs before he was stumped by Rishab Pant at 103. Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2-28) and Washington Sunder (1-25) delivered some excellent middle overs for the hosts and restricted the Tigers to 153-6 at the end of 20.0 overs. The total could have been even lower had not skipper Mahmadullah scored a belligerent 30 of 21 balls towards the end. 

The fact that the Bangladesh fell short by at least 25 to 30 runs on a wonderful batting track was amply evident when India came into bat. “Hitman” Rohit Sharma was in his elements as he clobbered the Bangladeshi attack for 6 fours and 6 huge over-boundaries to give the hosts a blistering start. He was finding gaps at will, so much so that a couple of defensive strokes found the boundary. His six hitting was even more murderous as he lifted three off the ground in a row off Mosaddek Hossain’s off-spin in the tenth over. So dominant was Rohit of the two opening partners that when Shikhar Dhawan was out with the score on 118, the left-hander’s personal contribution was just 31. Rohit went on to score his fastest T20 innings and ensure that India get the easiest of wins. With him gone at the score of 125-2, young Shreyas Iyer put the finishing touches to India’s innings with a very aggressive 24 not off only 13 deliveries (3 fours and a six in it). The hosts coasted towards the target score of 154 with more than 4 overs to spare.

As for the Bangladeshi bowling, few were spared the wrath of Rohit Sharma’s savage blade. The only saving grace for the visitors was their 20-year old leg-break googly bowler Aminul Islam who accounted for both the Indian wickets while giving away 29 runs from his 4 overs.

3rd T20I, Bangladesh tour of India at Nagpur, Nov 10, 2019

India – 174/5 from 20.0 overs / Bangladesh – 144 all out from 19.2 overs – India win by 30 runs

A sensational Bangladeshi batting collapse in the last 7 overs handed India an easy win just when it seemed the visitors were beginning to take control of their chase. Chasing 175, the visitors were quickly 2 down with just 12 runs on board. But Mohammad Naim and Mohammad Mithun steadied the ship and started attacking the Indian bowling that looked jaded and at 110-2 from 13 overs, the Tigers looked on course to win the game. Shivam Dube who was harshly treated by Naim suddenly dismissed the set batsman and immediately bowled Mushfiqur Rahim in the delivery following that. The Tigers were quickly reduced to 110-4. Deepak Chahar, who took the first 2 wickets was introduced into the attack and took the wicket of Mithun with the score at 126-5. After that it was a procession of batsmen going back to the pavilion as the visitors’ innings folded up for 144. Chahar ended up with one of best ever figures by any bowler in a T20 game for India – 6 wickets for a measly 7 runs from 3.2 overs. For Bangladesh, the lone stand-out figure was Mohammad Naim whose 81 was a revelation of sorts. Naim played shots all around the wicket and was strong against both spinners and fast bowlers. Naim’s innings came from just 48 balls that was peppered with 10 fours and two towering sixes of spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. The combined tally of 108 runs between Naim and Mithun is a testimony to how the rest of the Bangladeshi batsmen caved in. In fact, none of them reached double figures.

Prior to this, the Indians got off to a bad start when Rohit Sharma failed to reach double figures for the second time in the three-match series, getting bowled by Shafiul Islam for only 2. Shikhar Dhawan took a counter-attacking approach playing three lovely shots in the arc but ultimately fell when he skied a ball high up in the air and Bangladesh captain Madmudullah took a well-judged catch. India were 35-2 from 5.2 at that stage. Kl Rahul played classic cricket book shots in his innings of 52 which had 7 boundaries in it and came off 35 balls. Shreyas Iyer batting at the other end was fortunate to be around, being dropped when he was just on 1 with the score reading 37 then. But the Mumbai-born batsmen made the Tigers pay heavily for the easy let-off by Aminul Islam. His innings of 62 was savage and was peppered with 3 fours and 5 sixes, 3 of which he hoicked over long on from consecutive deliveries off right-arm off-spinner Afif Hossain who went for 20 runs from the lone over he bowled in the innings. Iyer’s dazzling innings came to an end after he faced just 33 deliveries. India were at 144-5 from 16.5 overs when Iyer went. Soumya Sarkar, not a front-line bowler by any means, was able to put a rein on the Indian innings, scalping Iyer and Rushab Pant (6) and finishing with impressive figures of 2-29 from his quota of 4 overs. A superb cameo by Manish Pandey who came in at the fall of the 5th wicket took the hosts to a challenging total of 174/5 from 20 overs. Pandey’s 22 not out came off just 13 balls that saw three hits to the fence. Al-Amin Hossain was Bangladesh’s most economical bowler with figures of 1-22. Shafiul Islam was the other wicket-taker with figures of 2-32. 

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