Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a composed 55 to lead his side to a comfortable six-wicket win over Bangladesh in Colombo.
India came into the match on a low as they lost to Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Nidahas Trophy. As for Bangladesh, this was the first game of their campaign.
Opting to bowl first, India got an early breakthrough as Jaydev Unadkat took out Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar for 14.
Veteran opener Tamim Iqbal followed soon after as he was caught by Unadkat at short fine leg off the bowling of Shardul Thakur for 15.
Just as Bangladesh were beginning to rebuild their innings, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim was caught behind off the bowling of Vijay Shankar for 18.
Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah failed to have an impact as he was sent packing by Shankar for one run.
Once Mahmudullah was gone, Bangladesh began losing wickets at regular intervals, but Liton Das’ 34 and Sabbir Rahman’s 30 helped Bangladesh finish on 139/8 off their 20 overs.
Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Shankar snapped up two. As for Thakur and Yuzvendra Chahal, they chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 140 to win, India made a brisk start to their innings before stand-in captain Rohit Sharma was clean bowled by Mustafizur Rahman for 17.
Rishabh Pant didn’t last long at the crease as he was cleaned up by Rubel Hossain for seven runs.
However, Dhawan and Suresh Raina stabilised the innings with a 68-run partnership, during which Dhawan brought up his half-century, before Raina was caught by Mehedy Hasan Miraz at square leg off the bowling of Rubel for 28.
Dhawan went on to make 55 off 43 balls, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Liton at long-on off the bowling of Taskin Ahmed.
Despite losing Dhawan, Manish Pandey guided India to victory as he finished unbeaten on a 19-ball 27, which included three boundaries.
Rubel was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Mustafizur and Taskin claimed one wicket each.
Mahmudullah was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “It’s obvious that we didn’t bat well. We should’ve scored a lot more runs, probably 30 more runs. They executed their plans very well but we should have found ways to make more runs.
“We need to rotate the strike more often. The dot balls created a lot of pressure. I think we are just one win away from getting a boost. We’re still searching for it and I think we’ll get it.
Rohit was pleased to have won, and said: “It was a great performance – something that was expected from us. Till the last ball of the game was bowled, it was clinical. We looked into what went wrong against Sri Lanka and we thought hitting back of a length was a good option. We wanted them to go after the long boundaries.
“I thought the bowlers executed their plans really well. Came out and did what was asked. We kept it simple. We need to improve our catching. We want to get better as a fielding side every game we play. We are much better than that. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes again.”
Shankar was named Man of the Match, and said: “I’ve been looking forward to this. Been working very hard and really happy to be winning this. I’ve been working hard on my bowling over the last few years and bowling is something that has given me something extra in my game. Playing with this team is a dream and everyone in the dressing room is very supportive.”