Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma smashed a superb 89 and Washington Sundar took three wickets as India downed Bangladesh by 17 runs to qualify for the final of the Nidahas Trophy.
Being put in to bat first, India made an excellent start to their innings as Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan amassed a 70-run partnership before Dhawan was clean bowled by Rubel Hossain for 35.
Rohit and Suresh Raina kept the runs flowing with a 102-run stand, during which Rohit sailed past his half-century and Raina was nearing his own fifty.
However, Raina did not end up getting to his half-century as he was dismissed by Rubel for a 30-ball 47, which included five boundaries and two sixes.
Rohit went on to score 89 off 61 deliveries, which included five boundaries and five sixes, before he was run out by Rubel on the final ball of the innings.
Thanks to Rohit and Raina, India finished on 176/3 off their 20 overs.
Rubel was the only bowler to take any wickets.
Chasing 177 to win, Bangladesh found themselves in trouble early on as Sundar took out Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal for seven, one and 27 runs respectively.
Stand-in captain Mahmudullah was sent packing by Yuzvendra Chahal for 11 shortly after.
With Bangladesh in a spot of bother at 61/4, Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman came to the rescue with a 65-run partnership before Sabbir was cleaned up by Shardul Thakur for 27.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz did not last long at the crease either as he was removed by Mohammed Siraj for seven runs.
Even though Rahim ended up scoring an unbeaten 72, which came off 55 balls and included eight boundaries and a six, his side ended up falling well short of their target.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sundar was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Chahal, Thakur and Siraj claimed one wicket each.
Mahmudullah was disappointed to have lost, and said: “Our effort was there, but we needed someone else to contribute with the bat. We wanted a flying start, but the early wickets made us lose momentum.
“Also, if we would’ve conceded ten less runs then we could’ve won. While bowling, our plan was to bowl the yorker but we didn’t execute them properly. Looking forward to the Sri Lanka game, we will try to come hard at them.”
Rohit, who was named Man of the Match, was thrilled to have qualified for the final, and said: “As I said at the toss, it was important for me to return to form. Although, I felt we were 10-15 short, they bowled well at the death. Anyway, Washington’s spell up front was magical. It’s not easy for a spinner to bowl with the new ball, so hats off to him. The rest of the bowlers executed their plans perfectly too at the back end.
“The pitch wasn’t the usual wicket, and the ball was gripping. It wasn’t easy to hit on the up as well, so I decided to take some time getting set. I knew the new batsmen would find it tough. Raina’s been in terrific form too, so hope he does well in the final too.
“Washington has been courageous to take the ball from me, not afraid to flight the ball, and he’s very clear on what he wants to execute. That allows me to breathe easy. When a bowler knows what field to set, that talks a lot about that individual. He bowled well against Sri Lanka as well.
“Before Siraj’s final over, all I told him was to keep it simple. I just wanted him to continue bowling the back-of-the-length ball because we found that tough to hit as well. Whatever I’ve seen of him, he can execute those plans. I can understand nerves, but he’s a great talent. He will go strength to strength. Wasn’t a great game for him, but he’s a great talent.”