Scoring and chasing 300-plus runs is no longer a novelty in ODIs these days. When Bangladesh set a 308-run target for India in the first ODI at Mirpur on Thursday, India responded forcefully in the chase with a 95-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The two batsmen gave no indication of being cowed down and 66 runs came in the 10-over power-play session. With the entire full-strength Indian batting line-up to follow the openers, India looked on course to take the first game without too much trouble. They might also have taken a cue from previous day’s ODI match, in which England had successfully chased 350 in 44 overs against New Zealand at Trent Bridge. But in the 16th over, Dhawan played an indiscrete shot and fell as India’s first wicket. But Rohit Sharma was still there and well-settled without too much adventure. Virat kohli had joined him and it still looked like India’s game. Then the wickets became tumbling as Bangladesh’s 19-year old debutant bowler Mustafizur Rahman, harried the Indian batsmen with an assortment of deliveries as the screaming Mirpur crowd egged on. Kohli, Rahane and Dhoni departed without making their presence felt and India were bundled out in 46 overs for a paltry 228, losing the match by 79 runs. Mustafizur Rahman became the second Bangladesh bowler after Taskin Ahmed to take 5 wickets on debut. Earlier, the Bangladesh batsmen had built their innings on the strength of a 102 run first-wicket stand between Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar. With useful middle-order contributions from Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain, Bangladesh compiled their highest score of 307 against India in ODIs. It was Bangladesh’s fourth win against India and it took them within one match victory for sealing their berth in the 2017 Champions Trophy that would have participation by top eight ODI teams as of September 30, 2015.
Bangladesh batted first in clouded weather after winning the toss. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar did not care anything about the swing bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav. They went for the bowlers and raced to 100 of the first 79 balls. Tamim blasted Umesh Yadav for 3 fours and a six in the sixth over and with Sarkar complementing nicely at the other end, the flow of runs continued. Against such relentless onslaught, error count from Bhuvneshwar and Umesh Yadav rose alarmingly. Dhoni brought Ravichandra Ashwin in the eighth over but even the spinner couldn’t impress the Bangla openers initially. India got their first success in 14th over, when an indecision between the batsmen coupled with an accurate direct throw from Raina brought the end of Sarkar’s innings after he made 54 off just 40 balls. Tamim also reached his fifty but by then the play was interrupted because of rain. On resumption, India bounced back with Ashwin taking the wickets of Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das and Musfiqur Rahim in 4 overs and reduce Bangladesh to 146/4 in the 24th over. Dhoni asked Suresh Raina to bowl from the other end for controlling the flow of runs. But Bangladesh still had some ammunition left. Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman added 83 for the fifth wicket and for the sixth wicket Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain added another 38. Hossain fell as the seventh wicket at 282 but captain Mashrafe Mortaza carried Bangladesh past 300. Finally, in the 50th over, their innings folded at 307, leaving India a victory target of 308.
India began quite well as openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan dealt with Bangla bowlers with aplomb. They raced to 97 runs in the 16th over, when Dhawan was removed by Taskin Ahmed. Bangladesh bounced back into the match decisively after they yielded just 20 runs in the next 7 overs. They also removed Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane as India tottered at 115/4. The impressive start got transformed into a panic situation for India. Only Suresh Raina showed some resistance but he couldn’t get support from others. Clever bowling from Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman froze the Indians in their tracks. With number of dot balls increasing and Bangla fielding getting efficient, runs dried up. From a bright prospect of pulling off victory in the 300-plus chase, India’s innings got derailed as Taskin and Mustafizur began snapping wickets. The debutant’s best moment was removing Suresh Raina and R Ashwin off successive balls. Mustafizur could have taken the sixth wicket if he had hung on to Mohit Sharma’s return catch in the 41st over. In the end, Indians were all out for 228 in 46 overs and allowed Bangladesh to win convincingly by 79 runs.
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