India will require 265 to reach the Champions Trophy final, after the bowlers halted what was an excellent start from Bangladesh.
The sun is shining in Birmingham – a sight scarcely seen throughout the tournament. Drizzle delayed the start by about 15 minutes, but we’ll see a full game for the first time, as one of the sides look to set up a date with Pakistan at the Oval on Sunday.
Bangladesh will feel that they’re right in this contest. Chasing has been the easier task throughout, as Pakistan and England can attest to in their respective victories over South Africa and Australia, but at least the Bengal Tigers have runs on the board. They were, however, on 159-2 after 27.4 overs, so it was a total that promised more.
Bangladesh, who reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history, were put in to bat first and lost their first wicket quickly. Six balls was all it took for Bhuvneshwar Kumar to open his account, bowling Soumya Sarkar for a second-ball duck.
But resistance and impetus came in the form of Sabbir Rahman, who took to the attack immediately with three boundaries off his first nine deliveries. The brisk knock came to a grinding halt however, as Kumar got his second. The slower ball deceived Rahman to head back to the pavilion for 19.
Bangladesh’s big guns got them back on track once again, and it was a partnership that wins you matches. Tamil Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim put on a 123-run stand at almost a run a ball. With 128 and 95 coming into this match, Iqbal was in sublime form once again with 70, before Kedar Jadhav cashed in.
Virat Kohli chanced Jadhav’s (2-22) arm to try and bring about a golden wicket, and the off-spinner removed both players. First he bowled Iqbal, before he lofted one up to tempt Rahim, who could only smash it straight Kohli at mid-wicket to depart for 61.
That allowed the frontline bowlers to cash in as Bangladesh wasted a start that looked like enough to go on and score 300-plus. Ravindra Jadeja (1-48) found Shakib Al Hasan’s edge to depart for 15, before Jasprit Bumrah (2-39) bowled Mahmudullah for 21.
The tail came to the party for the Bangladeshis, as they managed to claw together 40 runs from the last five overs. It was a skipper’s knock from Mashrafe Mortaza, who scored 30 off 25 balls, and he was aided by Mossadek Hossain (15) and Taskin Ahmed (10).
If Bangladesh can get on top of India’s top three early on, they stand a chance to cause a huge upset.
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