Spurred on by a brilliant Virat Kohli century, India launched their Asia Cup campaign on a high as they beat Bangladesh by six wickets chasing 280 on Wednesday.
Despite the competitive total of 279 that the hosts piled up, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane made the chase look easy. Their record partnership for the third wicket for India saw to it that Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim’s captain’s knock of 117 go in vain.
It is only the second instance in ODI history where skippers of both teams scored centuries in the same match.
Indian skipper Kohli during his knock of 136 kept his side in the chase at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
He and Rahane (73) fashioned with a 213-run stand after the openers had left with the asking run rate going up.
Rahane lent great support to his captain. He brought up his fourth ODI fifty off 64 deliveries. However, he was dropped on 51 by Mominul Haque as he failed to hold on to a low catch at cover.
The hosts got breakthroughs in the first hour of the chase, sending back openers Shikhar Dhawan (28) and Rohit Sharma (21) in quick succession after a 50-run first wicket stand.
It was then that Kohli, adjudged man of the match, and Rahane came together and took the fight right back to the hosts, who slowly ran out of ideas.
When the partnership, in which Kohli contributed 133 runs, ended it was all but too late when Rubel Hossain’s yorker shattered Kohli’s stumps with India just 13 runs away.
Bangladesh will have to go back to the drawing board and iron out the creases on top of sweating over the fitness of their captain who appeared to have hurt his left shoulder trying to save a boundary.
Kohli, ominous as always for the hosts, scored his 19th ODI ton off just 95 deliveries. His 122-ball innings contained 16 boundaries and two sixes paced the innings to perfection.
He reached another milestone – getting the most number of 50-plus scores in 131 matches (total 49; 19 hundred and 30 fifties), surpassing Brian Lara’s record of 48 (12 hundreds and 36 fifties).
When Rahane fell India required just eight runs. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik kept their calm and jogged over the finishing line with six balls remaining.
Bangladesh’s pacers were quite disciplined early on but were later punished by Kohli and Rahane. The dew factor apparently negated Bangladesh’s spin threat.
Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur scored a scintillating century to lift his side to 279 for seven in 50 overs after being sent in to bat first.
Mushfiqur (117 runs off 112 balls) scored the highest ODI run by a Bangladeshi captain beating Ashraful’s 109 against the UAE in 2008.
Thanks to a superb 133-run third wicket stand of 149 balls between opener Anamul Haque (77) and the skipper, the foundation for a solid total was laid for the hosts.
It was the highest partnership (133) for Bangladesh for any wicket. The earlier record was that of Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam, who together put up 113-run second wicket stand in the last Asia Cup.
Indian paceman Mohammed Shami looked threatening from the start, removing opener Shamsur Rahman (7) early.
After that, Mominul Haque (23) came in and smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a couple of exquisite back to back cover drives to drive the Fatullah crowd wild.
Mominul was looking good until he lost track of the ball off an inside edge on to the pads off Ravichandran Ashwin. As he eventually stepped away from the crease, he was stumped by Dinesh Karthik. Mominul, yet again, failed to convert a good start to a solid innings.
Mushfiq came at number three for the Tigers. He settled in quickly and kept the scoreboard ticking with regular rotation of strike and smashing for the ropes when opportunity rose.
Anamul, on the other end, consumed deliveries but always looked aggressive. He slammed Ravichandran Ashwin over the ropes to bring up his maiden ODI fifty playing 67 balls. He was harsh on Varun Aaron, smashing him twice over long-on for the maximum.
He, after contributing 59 runs for the third wicket, was bowled off Varun Aaron, who had been very expensive for the Team Blue.
Naeem Islam (14), Nasir Hossain (1), Ziaur Rahman (18) all came in and went for the shots but each failed to provide the home side with the final boost that could have taken them further to extend their chances.
Shami’s four-wicket haul was somewhat responsible for the hosts’ failure to end on a high note as he swung the ball with accuracy.
Mushfiqur had been there on the other end, while his partners fell, until the very last over when he pulled a high full toss off Shami straight to Rohit Sharma at deep midwicket, ending a superb knock from the big hearted short man.
He brought up his second ODI hundred of 104 deliveries. He smashed seven boundaries and two sixes on his way to his career-best score. His previous best was 101 runs against Zimbabwe at Harare at 2011.
Bangladeshi fans had an anxious moment when Aaron bowled his second waist-high ball to hit Mushfiq in the rib-cage and the batsman fell to the ground.
However, the Tigers’ skipper was back on his feet soon and Aaron came around to apologise twice. The bowler was taken off the attack with a ball still to be bowled in his eighth over.
Earlier, India won the toss and decided to bowl first in the second match of the tournament.
Source: Bd news24