Asia Cup / News

Bangladesh v India, Super Four, Asia Cup, Karachi

Rampant India overwhelm Bangladesh

The Report by Dileep Premachandran

June 28, 2008

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India 284 for 3 (Raina 116*, Gambhir 90) beat Bangladesh 283 for 6 (Kapali 115, Tamim 55) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out


The 139-run stand between Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir helped India win at a canter © AFP
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Alok Kapali's dazzling 115 gave Bangladesh a fighting chance, but their inability to hold on to catches meant that India breezed past another stiff target at the National Stadium in Karachi. Two days after making mincemeat of 300 against Pakistan, they overhauled Bangladesh's 283 with 40 balls to spare. Suresh Raina, with a century against Hong Kong and 84 against Pakistan earlier in the tournament, stroked a magnificent unbeaten 116, adding 139 for the third wicket with Gautam Gambhir to set up the game for India. Gambhir's 90 spanned just 84 balls, and there was enough time for Yuvraj Singh to thrash a couple of mighty sixes before the curtain came down.

Shahadat Hossain, all lively pace and whole-hearted grunting, had hinted at an upset with two wickets in the first Powerplay, but the partnership between Raina and Gambhir upset Mohammad Ashraful's best-laid plans. Butter fingers didn't help.

Gambhir had made 56 when his attempt to muscle Mashrafe Mortaza over the infield was sliced up in the air towards point. Farhad Reza made a mess of the catch. Soon after, still in the final Powerplay, Raina experienced his own adrenaline-rush moment, top-edging a pull. But again, Mortaza's celebrations were aborted as Mahmudullah spilt the chance at fine leg. Raina had made just 16.

Bangladesh had started well enough, with Robin Uthappa inside-edging a full delivery onto his stumps. That brought in Rohit Sharma, another batsman whose fortunes have waned in recent times. With Bangladesh especially generous with overthrows, India didn't need to take undue risks, and Rohit soon got going with an imperious pull and a cover drive for fours.

With Gambhir cutting and pulling anything that was slightly off target, the 50 came quickly enough, but soon after Rohit flicked Shahadat straight to midwicket. Raina was content to rotate the strike early on, and Gambhir quickly got to his half-century with a four and six off Mahmudullah. Then came the bloopers, and that was effectively that.

Neither batsman wasted run-scoring opportunities, with Gambhir frequently stepping out to drive on the walk as has become his wont. Raina leant into some gorgeous drives, but also pulled ferociously when the bowlers dropped short. Both also judged the singles to a nicety, ensuring that the required-rate never even went over six.

Slipshod fielding had played its part in Bangladesh's surge to 283 as well. Kapali had made just 25 when Manpreet Gony misjudged a catch at long-on off the bowling of Yusuf Pathan. Gambhir gave him another reprieve late on, but by then he had roared into three figures.

Top Curve
Five stats
  • Bangladesh's 283 for 6 is their fifth-best score in ODIs, and their second-highest against a Test-playing nation. Their highest, 285 for 7 against Pakistan, came earlier this year.
  • Alok Kapali's 86-ball hundred was the fastest by a Bangladesh batsman, and the first against India.
  • This was Alok Kapali's first hundred; his previous best was an unbeaten 89 against West Indies in 2002 . He becomes the seventh Bangladesh batsman to score a hundred.
  • The 112-run stand between Alok Kapali and Mahmudullah is the highest for the sixth wicket in the Asia Cup, and the second-best for Bangladesh.
  • With his unbeaten 116, Suresh Raina becomes only the second batsman to score 300 runs in a single edition of the Asia Cup. He is just 15 short of Shoaib Malik's 316 in 2004.
Bottom Curve

The innings exploded into life in the final eight overs, when 90 runs were amassed as Kapali cut loose with a ferocity that brooked no answer from the Indians. Mahmudullah turned over the strike at the other end, contributing only 24 to the 112-run partnership as Kapali struck the ball with power and precision.

Pragyan Ojha had bowled a tidy spell and taken two wickets on debut, Pathan had given little away, and Ishant Sharma had kept things quiet when called upon. But when Yusuf came on to bowl his final over, Kapali, then on 47 from 64 balls, exploded into life. Two big slog-sweeps for six set the tone, and when RP Singh returned, both batsmen scythed him over backward point for fours.

Gony, whose second international outing was a great deal more taxing than the first against Hong Kong, then went for 4, 6 and 6 as Kapali started to swing with genuine confidence. Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again turned to Ishant to apply a tourniquet, but to no avail. Kapali clipped a slow yorker beautifully through midwicket and then carved one past point as 61 came from just five overs.

Bangladesh had started sedately, but when Nazimuddin cut RP straight to third man, Mohammad Ashraful arrived to up the ante. With Gony straying on to the pads once too often, the runs came quickly. Tamim Iqbal drove fluently and Ashraful utilised both power and touch as the run-rate soared to six.

Unfortunately for Bangladesh, Ashraful's profligate streak then came to the fore. Gony had been brought back for a second spell, and a half-hearted drive on the up went to Ojha at mid-off. A first international wicket for Gony, and a first catch for Ojha.

Tamim eased past 50 but a moment's carelessness was to cost Bangladesh dearly. Having creamed Ishant through the covers for four, he then tried to deflect one fine off the pads. Dhoni made good ground to his right to take a splendid catch.

Raqibul Hasan was flummoxed soon after, as Ojha came up with a beautiful delivery that turned past the defensive prod to take off stump. Mushfiqur Rahim and Kapali consolidated with a 49-run partnership, but India's bowlers, with Ojha varying his flight cleverly, were slowly establishing a stranglehold.

Ojha's second wicket came courtesy a little extra bounce, with Mushfiqur's attempt at a cut finding only Dhoni's gloves, but the scent of a quick kill turned into a bloody nose as Kapali blazed away like a Catherine wheel. Had Bangladesh taken their catches, there might have been even more fireworks to illuminate the Dhaka night.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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