All-round Nasir sinks India A with ton and five-for
Bangladesh A 252 for 8 (Nasir 102*, Dhawan 3-44) beat India A 187 (Chand 56, Nasir 5-36, Rubel 4-33) by 65 runs
A sparkling all-round performance from Nasir Hossain led Bangladesh A to a 65-run win against India A in the second one-dayer, helping them level the series 1-1. Coming in at 82 for 5 in the 19th over, Nasir pulled Bangladesh A out of troubled waters with an unbeaten hundred, his third in List A matches, to lead them to a competitive 252 for 8 and then took five wickets, including those of Unmukt Chand and Suresh Raina, to make the win comfortable in the end.
The India A chase looked on course when they were 119 for 1 in the 28th over, with Chand on 56, and even when Raina smacked Rubel Hossain for a six three overs later with the hosts needing 116 runs from 19 overs. But Nasir had Chand caught behind down the leg side, and had Raina and Karun Nair stumped within four balls to leave India A struggling at 146 for 5.
Bangladesh A captain Mominul Haque brought Rubel back into the attack immediately from the other end, and the bowler did the needful by removing Sanju Samson for a golden duck and Karn Sharma for 2. Nasir then knocked over Rishi Dhawan's off stump, also for a duck, thwarting India's chance of a win.
Mayank Agarwal had given the chase an attacking start with three fours within the first four overs but fell to Rubel's pace while going for a drive, for 24. Chand then took charge, alongside a circumspect Manish Pandey, and hit three fours in the ninth over off Shafiul Islam to push the run rate towards five. He was dropped on 21 by Liton Das off Rubel, and cashed in to cross 50 and take his team past 100. With things not going Bangladesh A's way, Mominul used seven bowlers by the 27th over in a bid to break a partnership that grew to 88.
It worked when Chand edged one off Nasir and Pandey made room against Rubel three overs later only to find his middle stump scattered. Rubel and Nasir combined to take six wickets for 20 runs and Gurkeerat Singh was the only batsman to hang on, scoring a 30-ball 34, before he ran out of partners.
Earlier, put in to bat, Bangladesh A were thrown off track by double blows from Dhawan and legspinner Karn after they lost Rony Talukdar early. Soumya Sarkar and Anamul Haque had just started to push the throttle after a watchful and edgy fifty-run stand for the second wicket when Dhawan struck. Sarkar, who had been dropped twice, dragged one onto his stumps for 24 and Dhawan got Mominul's edge in his next over. Three overs later Karn took a return catch off Anamul for 34 and struck Sabbir Rahman's middle stump, after the batsman stepped out and missed, to leave the side at 82 for 5.
The innings was resurrected by two crucial stands - the sixth-wicket partnership between Liton and Nasir for 70 runs, and seventh-wicket one between Nasir and Arafat Sunny for 50. Liton led the first partnership, collecting four fours between the 18th and 21st overs, and the two batsmen had just settled down when Dhawan came back for his second spell and Liton pulled him straight to the deep square leg fielder for 45.
It was a Nasir Hossain show from there. The pitch seemed better for batting and he farmed the strike in the company of Sunny, Shafiul and Rubel. Soon after he brought up his fifty with a sweep in the 37th over, he smashed Karn over long-off like a confident top-order batsman for six. After Sunny and Shafiul fell within 16 balls, Nasir provided a strong finish by smacking Raina for three fours in an over - a slog sweep and two cover drives - to race from 76 to 88. With three overs still to go, he reached the three-figure mark off 94 balls and took his team single-handedly past 250, collecting 41 runs in the last five overs with the tail-enders
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo