Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India opener Shikhar Dhawan scored 75 and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 69 to lead their side a to 77-run win over Bangladesh in the third ODI in Mirpur.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first as Mustafizur Rahman dismissed Rohit Sharma for 29.
However, despite losing Sharma early on, Dhawan and Virat Kohli kept Bangladesh as bay with a 75-run partnership, during which Dhawan brought up his half-century, before Kohli was clean bowled by Shakib Al Hasan for 25.
With Dhawan falling soon after for 75, which came off 73 balls and included 10 boundaries, Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu ensured India did not collapse like they had in the first two ODIs.
Dhoni and Rayudu put together a 93-run partnership, during which Dhoni registered his half-century, before Rayudu was caught behind off the bowling of Mortaza for 44.
Dhoni ended up making 69 off 77 deliveries, which included six boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Rahman at deep midwicket off the bowling of Mortaza.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
With Suresh Raina smashing a quickfire 38 towards the end of the innings, India ended up finishing on 317/6 off their 50 overs.
Mortaza was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Rahman snapped up two and Al Hasan chipped in with one.
Chasing 318 to win, the recurring theme throughout the Bangladesh innings was batsmen getting off to promising starts before throwing their wickets away.
This was the case for Soumya Sarkar, who made 40, Litton Das, who scored 34, Sabbir Rahman, who mustered 43, and Nasir Hossain, who accumulated 32 runs.
Unlike the first two ODIs, Bangladesh struggled to live up to expectations in terms of their batting as they kept being pegged back with wickets at regular intervals or at the wrong time.
Raina was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Dhawal Kulkarni and Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets apiece and Rayudu, Stuart Binny and Axar Patel claimed one wicket each.
Even though his side lost the match, Mortaza was still delighted to have won the series 2-1, and said: “The way we have played the whole series, we have a lot of positives, and a lot of lessons from today. Mustafizur has been brilliant. It was fantastic to see him bowl under such pressure. We lost too many wickets at regular intervals today. Our batsmen got in and got out. We need to learn from these mistakes. South Africa are coming next week. We need to be positive and fit.”
Dhoni was glad to have ended the tour on a high, and said: “What was important was to put runs on the board, which we did. If we give our bowlers those extra 10-15 runs, the game is on. Partnerships were the key. At times on slow pitches, it looks like you are behind the target. We have resources in the last 10 overs to get a par-plus total. The last two years I have hardly batted at 4. If I have, I have only done so after the 30th-35th over. This was my chance to bat. That’s why we pushed Raina to 6 so that we have an experienced batsman at 6.
“This is something I can do only if Nos 6 and 7 keep on batting well. I won’t be shy, I hadn’t been moving well against spin but that had to do with the fact that there wasn’t much batting behind me. This win is good, but we need to make a decision if we want quick bowlers or if we want good bowlers even if they are not quick. We have been backing too many quick bowlers who haven’t been bowling well.”
Raina was named Man of the Match, and said: “We batted really well as a group. MS and Shikhar had a good partnership. MS took the responsibility. And then me and Stuart had a good partnership. Dhawal started off the bowling well, and me and Ash followed up on it. We played really well today, that’s the positive we will take from here. Bangladesh played really well, looking forward to coming back here.”
Rahman was named Man of the Series for taking 13 wickets at an average of 11.53.