Fantastic performances from Skipper Rohit Sharma and off-spinner Washington Sundar saw India outclass neighbours Bangladesh by 17 runs to enter the final of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series, in Colombo.
Rohit Sharma’s spirited 89 off 61 balls took India to a challenging 176 for three in 20 overs. In reply, Washington Sundar (3/22) blew away Bangladesh’s top-order to help restrict them to 159 for six in 20 overs. The Tigers’ inconsistency once again proved to be their bane as they found a target of 177 too hot to handle, having chased 215 in their previous encounter against Sri Lanka.
India won the T20I series against South Africa last month, and this time they are presented with another opportunity to win another trophy. The sixth match of the Nidahas Trophy is like a semi-final with the winner between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will meet India in the epic summit clash.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 14, 2018
India maintained their 100% win record against Bangladesh after winning their seventh career T20I in a row. Credit to youngster Washington Sundar, who showed his heroics against Bangladesh and staked a claim to be in the mix for India’s future endeavours in the shortest format.
Bangladesh miss out on the chase
In pursuit of 177 runs, opener Liton Das danced down the track as Washington fired a widish delivery, which he completely missed for Dinesh Karthik to complete an easy stumping. Soumya Sarkar (1) tried a slog over deep mid-wicket and missed the line completely as the spinner angled one into him.
A lot was dependent on southpaw Tamim Iqbal (27) to find the right chords in the chase. The senior batsman started on a promising note, hitting three boundaries and a six off a Shardul Thakur over. But teenage sensation Washington saw his flatter trajectory pay rich dividends, as Iqbal was bowled trying to scoop another angular delivery over short fine leg.
Bangladesh Skipper Mahmudullah (11) could not dispatch a half pitched Yuzvendra Chahal delivery as he hit the shot straight to KL Rahul at deep mid-wicket. Veteran Mushfiqur Rahim (72*) fought for his side with an impressive fifty. But Shardul (1/37) got the dangerous Sabbir Rahaman (27) to end. vital 65-run stand between the duo and seal the match in India’s favour.
There was a tally of 26 dot balls bowled by the spinners (13 each by Washington and Chahal) which proved to be decisive in the end.
Rohit finally has his day
Earlier, Rohit Sharma surged back to form with a blazing knock as India managed to put up a decent first innings score. Rohit, who was suffering from a prolonged bad patch starting from the tour of South Africa, finally got into the groove. The stand-in captain hit five fours and an equal number of sixes off only 61 balls as he got back his mojo.
The 102 runs stand for the second wicket in only 9.2 overs with southpaw Suresh Raina was a key element of the game. Suresh Raina looked flawless in his 47-run stay at the crease. The two veterans upped the ante in the four overs between 16 to 19, in which India scored 55 runs.
The 18th over bowled by left-arm military medium bowler Abu Hider Rony (0/43), helped India squander 21 runs. Rony was hit for three sixes — two by Rohit Sharma and one by Suresh Raina, which suddenly propped up India’s score that was looking below par at one stage.
Rohit’s 89 was an innings long due and he targeted all the bowlers to get his rewards. Raina once again played a significant role, hitting five boundaries and two sixes and made the most of his fine touch with the bat.
The comeback man missed out on a half-century as another attempted flick over deep mid-wicket found the fielder. India had their best start of the tournament with Shikhar Dhawan (35 off 27 balls) and Rohit adding 70 in 9.5 overs. Shikhar Dhawan hit Mustafizur for a six over long on, picking a slower delivery earlier than expected.
Dhawan lost his wicket after being bowled by a yorker from Rubel Hossain (2/27). The right-arm pacer, who gave away just four runs in the final over, was the pick of bowlers.
Brief Scores: India 176/3 (Rohit 89; Rubel 2/27) beat Bangladesh 159/6 (Mushfiqur 72*; Sundar 3/22) by 17 runs