Mirpur: India cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over hosts Bangladesh to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 Cup match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday night.
The Indian spinners restricted Bangladesh to 138 for 7, with leg-spinner Amit Mishra once again leading the wicket tally with three wickets, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Bangladesh opener Anamul Haque’s fighting 44 runs and Mohammad Mahamudullah’s unbeaten 33 went in vain.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma scored 56 off 44 balls with five boundaries and a six, while Virat Kohli remained unconquered on 57 off 50 balls with three fours and a six. Together, they put on 100 runs in 12.3 overs.
After Sharma got out, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined Kohli to hit an unbeaten 22 and ensure the victory with nine balls to spare and thus become the first team to reach the semi-finals.
Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl. His bowlers began to strike from the fourth over starting with Ravichandran Ashwin. With the second ball, he had opener Tamim Iqbal caught at slip by Suresh Raina for 6 and the very next ball he had Shamsur Rahman sweep to Rohit Sharma at square leg.
Shakib Al Hasan prevented the hat-trick, but got out to the first delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 1.
Three wickets down for 21 by the fifth over, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Anamul Haque tried to lift the team out of the damage and the home crowd cheered every run.
Dhoni surprisingly tried out Raina, who bowls off-break. Bangladesh reached the 50-run mark in 51 balls when Rahim slog-swept Ravindra Jadeja for a boundary.
Strike bowler Mishra was introduced in the ninth over, but created no impact.
Mohammad Shami, who bowled for the first time in the 11th over, was hit for a six by Haque over extra cover. With the last ball of the over, he provided the breakthrough by having Rahim caught at mid-wickets by Kohli for 24. Rahim and Haque put on 46 in 6.5 overs.
When the crowd was getting ready to cheer Anamul for his half-century, Mishra got him clean-bowled with his googly for 44. By the 15th over, Bangladesh were 90 for 5 with Nasir Hussain and Mohammad Mahamudullah trying hard to accelerate the run rate. Mahamudullah hit a flat six over mid-wicket off Mishra and hit Shami for two boundaries in the next over.
With five wickets in hand and only two more overs to go, the pair hit hard at all deliveries. The pair put on 49 runs in 6.1 overs when Mishra had Hussain stumped by Dhoni for 16. He also picked the wicket of Ziaur Rahman to be on a hat-trick chance. Mashrafe Mortaza, after hitting the last ball of the innings for a six, set a target of 139 runs to win.
India’s renowned opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Sharma could put on only 13 runs before Hussain made Dhawan inside edge to the wicket for 1.
Kohli then hit Hussain effortlessly over covers for six. Bangladesh introduced their strike bowler and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.
Though they gave away only five runs in the first over, in the next he was hit for 15, which included two boundaries from Sharma. To add to Sharma’s relief, he was also dropped at 35 off Ziaur Rahman, with Sohag Gazi running in for an easy catch for Haque catch and messing it up at mid-wicket. The pair put on 51 runs in 39 balls and moved from strength to strength.
SCORES, STANDINGS, FIXTURES
India beat Bangladesh by eight wickets
Scores: Bangladesh 138-7 in 20 overs (Anamul Haq 44, Mahmudullah 33 not out; Amit Mishra 3-26, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-15), India 141-2 in 18.3 overs (Virat Kohli 57 not out, Rohit Sharma 56)
Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR
India 3 3 0 0 0 6 +0.477
West Indies 3 2 1 0 0 4 +1.223
Pakistan 2 1 1 0 0 2 +0.077
Australia 2 0 2 0 0 0 -0.503
Bangladesh 2 0 2 0 0 0 -2.204
Netherlands v New Zealand, 1.30pm
England v South Africa, 5.30pm