ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v India, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Sehwag and Kohli sink Bangladesh in opener

The Report by George Binoy

February 19, 2011

Comments: 227 | Text size: A | A

India 370 for 4 (Sehwag 175, Kohli 100*) beat Bangladesh 283 for 9 (Tamim 70, Shakib 55, Munaf 4-48) by 87 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Virat Kohli celebrates after getting to a century, Bangladesh v India, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, February 19, 2011
Virat Kohli reached his hundred off the penultimate ball of the Indian innings © AFP
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There was no reprise of the 2007 upset at Port of Spain in the opening game of this World Cup. Instead, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli gave evidence of the havoc this Indian batting line-up can create during centuries that demoralised Bangladesh's bowlers. Shakib Al Hasan's men failed to maintain their composure in the grandest match of their lives and conceded a total beyond the reach of their batting abilities.

There was wisdom in Bangladesh choosing to chase - the previous 12 day-night matches at the Shere Bangla were won by the team batting second - but their bowlers were wayward on a slow pitch that kept low and had loopy bounce not conducive to shot-making. Shakib wanted to keep India below 260 when he put them in because of the dew factor later in the evening. He watched the target surge past that as Sehwag and Kohli, who justified his captain's decision to leave out Suresh Raina, dismantled the attack in front of a shell-shocked crowd and powered India to 370.

Bangladesh, however, did not go quietly. Faced with an impossible chase, Imrul Kayes attacked from the outset after which Tamim Iqbal and Shakib took charge. They set off at a sprint, swinging fearlessly, edging luckily, and brought cheer to their supporters. What Bangladesh failed to do, though, was sustain the aggression for as long as Sehwag did, and the asking-rate soared irreversibly out of reach.

With a withering back-foot drive, Sehwag had slammed the first ball of the tournament to the cover boundary, the opening move of his maiden century against Bangladesh silencing a boisterous Mirpur crowd. Shafiul Islam had given Sehwag too much width, and in his second over he strayed twice on to Sachin Tendulkar's pads with dire consequences. His day would not get better and he conceded 69 off seven.

India raced to 36 after four overs, forcing Shakib to turn to his premier spinner, Abdur Razzak, in the fifth. Razzak looped the ball into Sehwag from round the wicket, following the batsman and cramping him for room as he tried to hit inside out through the off side. Sehwag had scored 12 off his first six balls and 13 off his next 24.

Bangladesh were listless, though, as Sehwag regained his touch and never lost it again, but they also had some good fortune. A mix-up, during which both Tendulkar and Sehwag were ball-watching, left both batsmen at one end and the Mirpur crowd found its voice again.

Sehwag, however, continued piercing gaps and hit the tournament's first six, hoisting Razzak over wide long-on to reach fifty off 45 balls. With Gautam Gambhir, Sehwag added 83 to build on the opening stand of 69. While Sehwag used muscle, Gambhir played with precision - dabbing, pushing and chipping into gaps. His dismissal for a run-a-ball 39, bowled by a straight one from Mahmudullah, was against the run of play.

The exceptional feature of Kohli's innings was his driving. On a surface this slow, he reached the pitch of the ball, gathering momentum with a forward thrust of his body, and drove crisply through the off side with a whip of his wrists. He did it against pace and spin, scoring effortlessly at more than a run a ball. In the 33rd over, Kohli drove Naeem Islam twice to the cover boundary and pulled him behind square, placing the ball just wide of the fielders each time. India took their batting Powerplay after the mandatory ball change and scored 48 for 0 during the fielding restrictions.

At one stage Sehwag, who had Gambhir running for him because of an injury, had a shot at a double-century. He fell in the 48th over, though, almost making good his pledge to bat through the innings. Kohli continued to motor towards a hundred in his first World Cup match and got there off the penultimate ball of the innings, possibly having secured his spot for the rest of the tournament.

The pitch quickened in the evening, making shot-making easier, and the dew greased the outfield, making the ball harder to grip. But Bangladesh's bowlers had conceded too much ground for their batsmen to regain. They tried, though, and the initial assault on the Indian bowlers was fierce.

The highlight of that brief blitz was the attack on Sreesanth. Kayes edged, flicked, pulled and drove him for boundaries, and a wayward wide contributed to Bangladesh taking 24 runs off the fifth over. They were 51 for 0. Kayes then tried to force the slower pace of Munaf Patel, who replaced Sreesanth, through the off side and played on, ending the opening partnership at 56.

Zaheer Khan's control and the introduction of spin resulted in an increase in dot balls and a reduction in boundaries, and by the half-way stage the asking-rate was already 9.36. Tamim and Shakib completed aggressive half-centuries and the rest of the batsmen also struck the ball fluently during a heartening display. Victory, however, had already escaped them. Bangladesh will hope to reproduce this batting effort in a match in which their bowlers get their act together.

Match Timeline

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 227 
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Posted by john on (February 22, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

Even I feel crazy about Bangladesh supporters. I accept that you organized a good memorable world cup start. It doesn't mean that you can win the match against India.

India will win this world cup. runners would srilanka or pakisthan

Posted by Yasmin on (February 22, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

I'm a crazy Bangladeshi suppoerter. So, just like a dutiful fanatic fan I cheer for my team and my country and always keep the hope alive, even when our boys are playing against the toughest of opponents.However, I never understood how Jamie Siddons and the Bangladeshi selectors could ever dream of any success against a team with the toughest batting line-up in the world by relying on two less than mediocre fast bowlers!! Indian players are born to play spin bowling. And aside from Shakib and Razzaq the rest of the spin bowlers are also less than mediocre. So, it was never a question of whether or not India was going to win but rather by what margin.Actually, I've to say that our bowlers are quite lucky that India didn't set a world record by scoring 500 runs in 50 overs, since they are very capable of doing against such awful bowling. If Bangladesh wants so stay in contention they better be thinking about bringing back Mashrafe who has recuperated completely.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 3:52 GMT)

My Indian XI against England : Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Yusuf, Harbhajan, Ashwin, Zaheer, Munaf........

Posted by akshay on (February 21, 2011, 21:43 GMT)


Posted by Dummy4 on (February 21, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

-----@::::: Bangladesh is now much better teaM than before it was. It is proved. So, don't be silly by talkiNG negativelY about them. They are really working harD. We all should appreciate them... Well played India number @::1::@ TEAM..congrats to SHEWAG & KOHLI.

Posted by Dru on (February 21, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

That was India's plan A executed to perfection one would think and the scairy thing is Dhoni, Yuvraj and Pathan had no impact on the 370!! Bowling would be a minor concern but really in the scheme of things a omfortable win with Sree having a day off. Sewag was awesome and I still dont get why Kholi hasnt had a test run - he is a classical batsman with plenty of one day runs and even Raina has had a run in tests and failed!! Other than the Indian win the thing to note was the Bangledesh batting which would sent the rest in that group a clear message that they are in for a tough fight to beat Bangledesh at home.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 21, 2011, 10:09 GMT)

Against England, India needs to go with at least three spinners and two seemers because in the warm-up matches we saw that the pitch is a turning one and with Piyush Chawla and R. Ashwin both bowling well in tandom along with Harbhajan Singh, it would not be a bad idea to go into the match with three geniune spinners. Both Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan seemed to have found the length to bowl on flat wickets, it probably just be the ideal combination of six batsman and five bowlers against England. England is a very strong opponent and India needs to plan some strategy to overcome England. As Imran Khan said couple of days ago that to win matches one needs to think in a attacking way and he stressed on the combination of six batsman including the wicket keeper and five genuine bowler. I feel that India can go with six batsman and five bowler combination against the match against England as all the three genuine spinners that India got can bat.

Posted by Pushpakumara on (February 21, 2011, 8:13 GMT)

India had done a superb job.Main reason for Bangladesh getting 283 is Sreeshanth's poor bowling.Other all bowlers did bowled very accurately.Munaf and zaheer's tight line and lengths will be a trouble for any top batsman.India should prepare ashis nehra as their third seamer.Theis fielding has been improved and batting lis very impressive!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 21, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

India batted brilliantly in their opening match despite the opposition is Bangladesh. But I think Bangaldesh has'nt bowled well initially and allowed some free scoring for indians. But at the end of the match despite an emphatic Indian victory there are some serious concerns regarding our fast bowlers. Zaheer Khan looked good and is well shaped up and so is Munaf Patel going by their performance in the last game but importantly they need to be consistent with their performance. About Sreesanth, I think he is clearly struggling with the length and the line required to bowl on dead pitches where there is hardly any help for fast bowlers unless the bowler genuinely bowls at an average close to 150 kmph. It is important for Indian bowlers who don't have express pace to bowl within the stumps and avoid giving room for batsman. Another important aspect is the variation which the Indian bowlers need to produce judiciously.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 21, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

hope the indian form continues in the similar fashion through out the tournament and hope we all indian fans can c MSD with the WC Trophy in wankheda....

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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