India v Bangladesh, Asia Cup, Mirpur February 24, 2016

Rohit, Nehra hand Bangladesh a thrashing

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India 166 for 6 (Rohit 83, Pandya 31, Al-Amin 3-37) beat Bangladesh 121 for 7 (Sabbir 44, Nehra 3-23) by 45 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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'Nehra is so disciplined' - Dhoni

Rohit Sharma is a one-day nerd. He takes his time at the start, gets accustomed to conditions and cashes in only once he is set. India were sent in on a noticeably green pitch in Mirpur and Bangladesh, armed with four fast bowlers, made it as difficult as they could by moving the ball both ways. Shikhar Dhawan failed. Virat Kohli failed. Suresh Raina failed. Rohit could have failed too - he had 21 hard-earned runs when he was dropped by Shakib Al Hasan - but he did what good batsmen do and cashed in. Soon, even questions meant to flummox him - like Mustafizur Rahman - became easy. He mistimed that cutter for a six over square leg en route to a pristine 83 off 55 balls which led India past Bangladesh in their Asia Cup T20 opener.

Rohit's form is old news for India. The most heartening outcome from the 45-run win was Hardik Pandya passing his own exam with flying colours. He was promoted to No. 6, ahead of MS Dhoni who was declared fit to play even if he had to use a back brace while keeping wicket, and matched Rohit's strike rate. What was remarkable is that Rohit usually goes beserk after he has bedded into an innings, but Pandya was able to reel off boundaries immediately - five in his first 11 balls - to thrust India's score from the possible to the improbable. They had been 97 for 4 with only 5.1 overs left and finished at 166 for 6.

That total was placed under a little trouble from Sabbir Rahman, who struck 44 off 32 balls, but the other end became a revolving door of batsmen and by the end, Bangladesh's concerns were more about batting the 20 overs out than chasing the total down. With each passing minute, they would have felt sore at what could have been. Had Shakib taken Rohit's slice at point in the 11th over, India would have been stuck with a misfiring Yuvraj Singh, a relatively untested Pandya, the back-spasm hit Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja.

But Rohit was still around, and Taskin Ahmed was smarting from the missed opportunity. That pain would only increase as Rohit caressed the very next ball to the third man fence, then smashed a short and wide one over point for six and finished the hat-trick with a little help from Al-Amin Hossain misfielding at third man again. After his reprieve, Rohit struck at 229.62. Pandya came in and went at 172.22. Their partnership for the fifth wicket reached 50 off 17 balls and was broken only in the final over after 61 runs in 27 balls.

Such a finish seemed too good to be true when Taskin and Mustafizur - both bowling at over 140 kph - used the early help to great effect. The pressure they created fetched wickets at the other end as Al-Amin got a fuller delivery to dart back into Dhawan and bowl him through the gate in the second over.

It was a brilliant start for Bangladesh , not least because Al-Amin usually does not bowl the one that comes back into left-handers. Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, brought himself on in the fifth over and immediately got rid of Kohli. With the score on 22 for 1, Kohli tried to break the shackles by targeting the slowest bowler among the opposition. The problem was this was not quite the pitch to drive on the up in the early stages of an innings because even if the moment had died down, there was considerable bounce. Kohli skewed a catch to mid-off and walked off with an accusatory stare at the splice of his bat. Raina's dismissal also typified panic-stricken batting. With the pacers holding sway, he ran at the second ball he faced from the spinner and was bowled.

Bangladesh's discipline as a unit until this point was thorough and unyielding. The bowlers kept Yuvraj to 15 off 16 balls as well, but the fielders did not match their intensity. It was a mistake that ended up costing them the match for they should never have let India get to 166.

That total was more than enough to inspire a fine new-ball spell from Ashish Nehra, who cleaned up Mohammad Mithun and soon after, Jasprit Bumrah shocked Soumya Sarkar with extra bounce. Pandya's medium pace proved handy again and R Ashwin's offspin tied Bangladesh's middle order in such knots that the wicket he got - Imrul Kayes caught slog sweeping on the square leg boundary - seemed destined. Nehra came back in the closing stages and knocked over Mahmudullah and Mortaza in two balls to finish with 3 for 23 and India were toasting a fine, all-round T20 performance

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kanad_Boston on February 28, 2016, 19:22 GMT

    @TAKE-IT-EASY: We have been hearing this for the past 20 years. Your so called "The Day" seems like the Bible's (day of Judgement". Any way, illusion is consoling. When there is no past and present then only hope is a delusional future.

  • take-it-easy on February 27, 2016, 2:19 GMT

    The day is not far when BD will trash top teams in t20 as they do in ODI. And haters will be crying again and again as they did when their team were thrashed by tigers in odi.

  • KimiBoy on February 26, 2016, 19:06 GMT

    Catching is all about skill and how good you are and practice, not about luck. Stop finding excuses.

  •   Mostafiz Rahman Shoikot on February 26, 2016, 18:51 GMT

    Well bangladesh still need a lot more improvement in t20 cricket. That's a true fact. But don't forget the fact bangladesh cricket is lot more improve from the previous. Just calm down and watch.

  • Fakhrulhaq Chishty on February 26, 2016, 11:09 GMT

    India gonna win d asia as well as t20 world cup

  • sshadab on February 26, 2016, 9:06 GMT

    I like the way Bangladeshi's have made some good strides in cricket, but I still feel there is a lot of scope for improvement. First step is respecting the opposition, and the folks who do that are their star performers like Sakib and Mushfiq. Second step is not experimenting when pitted against high quality opposition. Thirdly, accepting the fact that there will be more losses than victory and hopefully you learn out of it and improve in the subsequent matches. Finally, every different bowler will have an initial period when he succeeds, later once the opposition works him out he will be found wanting if he does not have a good stock delivery. Mustafizur needs to work on his stock delivery and not just rely too much on his well change of pace, else he will be exposed just like Ajantha Mendis who was difficult to play during his initial days.

  • TestCricketSupreme on February 26, 2016, 6:06 GMT

    Gee, Bangladesh get a thrashing and a bunch of Indian players pad their stats against a weak team in a meaningless game. How often does that happen?

  • Sandeep7282 on February 26, 2016, 2:41 GMT

    GameplayxI it is coz they have test status. Terrible mistake however, India to blame for backing BD. Ireland and Afg are way better than BD

  • GamePlanXI on February 25, 2016, 20:26 GMT

    with their ICC rankings why is BD playing in this tournament without playing qualifiers. Afghanistan is a better team than this

  • android_user on February 25, 2016, 20:15 GMT

    yuvraj and rohits partnership laid the foundation for the win.

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