Bangladesh v India, World Cup 2015, 2nd quarter-final, Melbourne March 19, 2015

Responsible Rohit sees off Bangladesh threat


India 302 for 6 (Rohit 137, Raina 65, Taskin 3-69) beat Bangladesh 193 (Nasir 35, Yadav 4-31, Shami 2-37) by 109 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rohit Sharma's seventh ODI hundred charged India past 300 towards the end © Getty Images

Bangladesh did a pretty good impersonation of Rafael Nadal for the first 30 overs of the quarter-final, defending everything with intensity and precision, but when the moment came to hit that winner which sets Nadal apart from other defensive players, Bangladesh kept defending and paid the price. Rohit Sharma kept absorbing the pressure in a largely subdued innings, but exploded in the end to go from 60 off 80 to 137 off 126, helping India score the second-highest score in a World Cup knockout match.

Bangladesh showed they were no pushovers with bowling and fielding that put India under pressure, but the wheels came off towards the end with possibly everything, including the umpiring, going India's way. Suresh Raina played his part by stinging Bangladesh in a concentrated attack of 65 off 57, and Ravindra Jadeja made sure the momentum continued with a 23 off 10 in the end, taking India to a total that required high-risk batting from Bangladesh. Tamim Iqbal came out swinging, but the chase was too difficult to sustain against an in-form Indian bowling attack, which has claimed all 70 wickets on offer so far. This was MS Dhoni's 100th win as captain, and 11th on the trot in World Cups.

That the eventual margin of victory was huge should not take anything away from the significance of the umpiring blunder. India had only just started to look threatening with 41 runs in 4.3 overs of the batting Powerplay when Rohit hit a full toss straight down deep midwicket's throat. This was the time when for a split second Bangladesh thought they could work at wresting back the control, but to their horror they saw square-leg umpire Aleem Dar had called a no-ball.

Replays showed Rohit had met the ball waist-high well in front of his normal stance, and the ball was on its way down. Not only was it not a no-ball, it was inconsistent that the on-field umpire made such a hurried call when extreme caution has been the norm. Nine out of 10 times in modern cricket, Rohit would have been given out after replays; this just happened to be that other occasion.

Rohit was 90 off 101 when he was reprieved. India were 196 in the 40th over. Bangladesh were looking at Dhoni and Jadeja, who have not been in the best hitting form, for the last 10 overs. Instead, they had to contend with some exquisite stroke-play from Rohit. The mayhem in the end all added up to nearly double the 35-over score of 155 for 3. Rohit's three sixes took him to the joint-fifth-highest score at MCG, his average of 83.75 the best among those who have scored over 250 runs at the venue, where the final will be played. He also became only the third visiting batsman to score two hundreds at the ground.

Some of Rohit's hitting in the end was just too good for Bangladesh. They were at the wrong end of the umpiring, but they will rue plays both big and small that hurt them in the end. They realised soon enough that this was a flat pitch - the flattest in Australia this summer - and even though India added 75 for the first wicket they defended really well. They were accurate, hardly bowled any bad balls once Rubel Hossein and Shakib Al Hasan came on to bowl, were backed up in the field, and the drying of the runs drew three unforced errors from India.

Nadal knows when to pull the trigger, just when he has run the opponent ragged. That moment presented itself when Ajinkya Rahane fell trying to force the pace, making it 115 for 3 in the 28th over. That was when you would have expected Bangladesh to attack Raina and the tiring Rohit, but they held back their attacking options. Mashrafe Mortaza, their captain who has never looked 100% fit in the tournament, came on to bowl. It took Bangladesh 42 balls to bowl Raina his first bouncer. It was duly top-edged. Raina, though, had galloped away to 41 off 41 by then after a slow start of 13 off 25.

Other small little things were not paid attention to either. The fielders inside the circle sat back on the ring allowing easy singles, the bowlers did nothing to stop Raina backing up too far and too early at the non-striker's end, the fielders threw at Dhoni's end even when Rohit was struggling with fitness, and when you would have expected them to cut the single with Rohit on 99 they actually bowled a no-ball because they didn't have enough men inside the circle.

Umesh Yadav collected 4 for 31 as India bowled out a team for the seventh successive match © Associated Press

Don't take much away from Rohit and Raina, though. They were under high pressure of the stifling bowling of a side with not much to lose in the big knockout game. They were both forced to play a game against their nature. They waited and waited, and then they exploded in the Powerplay. The intent was unmistakable. Raina charged at the first ball of the Powerplay, and drove it over extra cover. It helped that it was Mortaza's gentle pace, and not Rubel's quickness. He again targeted the first ball of the next over, sending Shakib over long-on. The pressure was squarely on Bangladesh, and just when they thought they had caught a break, the umpires let them down.

Rohit then unleashed some artistic late-overs hitting. He saw Raina get out to a slower ball, he saw Dhoni struggle for timing, he was himself exhausted by the effort - physically and arguably mentally - but he exposed gaps in the field beautifully. Without violence he scored 25 off the last nine balls he faced, and Jadeja provided the finishing touches in the end. Bangladesh, after having competed well for at least 30 of the 50 overs, were now left chasing what had never been successfully chased at MCG.

Tamim made a low-percentage start, which was too good to last. It didn't, ending to an edge to Umesh Yadav. A panicked run-out followed. Asking rate rose. Disciplined bowling meant Bangladesh had to take risks every time they tried to score faster. Wickets fell almost every time they did so. Dhoni took a diving catch to where a first slip would have been. Dhawan took one at the boundary after stepping over the rope and coming back to control the ball. Everything went for India once Rohit and Raina began to attack Bangladesh. Now they are headed to play the winner of the match between Australia and Pakistan.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on March 24, 2015, 13:28 GMT

    A lot hinges on the start Rohit Sharma will give India. Hope he and Dhawan can give us the flying starts like in the Champions Trophy. These two need to upset the two Mitchells length. Against the right hand batsman they two left armers will target the off stump corridor going away to the slips.

  • Samir on March 23, 2015, 4:22 GMT

    It's Power of 'R's ROHIT, RAINA, RAVINDRA, and RAVICHANDRA. Now India should have not panic against Aussie. Specially Maxwell, Warner, Finch all are already known from IPL mates. India already knew their weaknesses. Also Aussie players have not cricketing thoughts than Indians. So need not to worry at all. Win toss, bat first, and do not do Ganguly mistakes of 2003 WC allowing them to score big. or Learn mistakes of Pak and WI. India need just Smith and Watson's wicket!! Need to sing against aus..You (Aus) say you got Power...India say Uhh No..No..No..Beat those Aussie right there in their backyard because NSG commado MSD arriving at SCG!!!

  • Ash on March 22, 2015, 12:28 GMT

    @Tonoy Admit, not contesting the fact that Mashrafe was inspiring as cap, especially against England. But with due respect, I question his judicious use of bowlers during a critical phase of the match against India. Murtaza was hobbling, bowling in the top 120km/h only and bleeding runs by bowling overs and clearly getting frustrated at a time when the Run rate was well contained. Yes, he could have used Rubel instead of himself for a couple of more overs before the death overs to break the Raina-Rohit partnership which was flourishing. He also had the option of using more spin attack (which was conserving the run rate) with Nasir, who turned out to have the best economy rate (3.88) and bowled 9 overs. Even Mahmudullah up to that point had bowled 1 over and conceded 4 runs!! Commentators shared the same sentiment. IMHO that was a big mistake that proved to be costly, notwithstanding the catch off Rohit that was later denied.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2015, 10:54 GMT

    @SultanofSwing007 : we cant blame mashrafe. He was not 100% fit but still in the game against england He brought himself back into attack and both the times he got vital wickets. Even in this game he almost got Raina's wicket when Raina was on 10 but LBW review was deliberately rejected by wrong display of hawk-eye (I can prove it if you want). About rubel, who balls better with older ball, captain might have planned to bring him for 2 overs in Batting power play and 2 overs in death , because Rubel had finished a 6 overs spell just before raina came.

  • Ash on March 21, 2015, 21:40 GMT

    In the midst of all the hoopla over bad umpiring concerning Rohit's not out decision, it would be unjust to overlook Mortaza's tactical error in the way he utilized the bowlers. He failed to tighten the noose a bit more when Indian scoring was contained, by not bringing Rubel to break the Rohit-Raina partnership instead of the death overs. Much to my shock, he was blindsided, chosing to bowl with his injury with slow pace and concede big runs in the middle overs, which effectively loosened the grip on the scoring rate. Don't know why he continued to bowl several key overs when he was clearly ineffective. He had a choice to get a few more overs even from Nasir Hossain who was far more effective in conceding fewer runs. That cost them the game in my opinion!

  • Farhan on March 21, 2015, 14:51 GMT

    responsible and lucky Rohit would b a better caption.

  • Unni on March 21, 2015, 12:28 GMT

    @AtolMannan :What ever happens from hereon Indian team will also return as heros ,they have won 7 matches on a row bowled out opposition in all the matches which no other team including the bowling attacks of Aus /NZ/SA could do.

  • Mohamed on March 21, 2015, 5:40 GMT

    Kohli is really calm after the hundred against Pak quite not living upto the mark. And Rahane's disappointing runs continues.. Though Rahane is a good batsmen but struggling to rotate the strikes. The only surprise that Ind got Raina has been doing well in pressure situations. For the first time that I believe Raina as a good batsmen to believe in crunch times. For a change Raina is doing like Rahane and vice versa. Noneof the Indian Batsmen have Killer instincts in batting but able to produce in a better strike rate which is positive. Fortunately team is in form but beating aus in home condition really needed to be Ideal in all forms.

  • Vyshakh on March 21, 2015, 2:50 GMT

    Its nice to see Rohit get some luck and get a good century. But Aussies are going to be a totally different opposition. Toughest opposition India have played thus far is SA. But India's bowlers continue to dominate like this Aussies might face some trouble. If SCG spins then Aussies will be in trouble. But Aussies bat quite deep with Brad Haddin coming in at 8 no score is going to be safe to defend. I like this new Australian batting order with Smith at 3 and Watson at 5. Its more solid and India might have some problems. But if Umesh and Shami start off well its going to be tough. I just Rohit scores another century in the next match. Shikhar, Rohit and Virat will have to lay a good platform. Rahane and Raina will then be able to capitalise on it.

  • M.G. on March 21, 2015, 0:00 GMT

    BD and everyone else, but Ind will remember this match as the act of faulty officiating in a WC QF. Ind played with 12 men, the last one being that other subcontinent umpire. That Ind opener scored 90 not a century, and was out, but was given life by an unjust official with a very low level farce, we all saw that, everyone agreed on that, and the Ind are celebrating by hiding their head in the sand. The umpire not only shifted the momentum of the game to the generally stronger Ind at a very critical time of the match, but he deprived BD and others from experiencing a thrilling finish of the same by a rising team. This is pretty disheartening and unexcuseable.

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