Semi-Final, Birmingham

India v Bangladesh

Hugh Chevallier

At Birmingham, June 15. India won by nine wickets. Toss: India.
An irresistible mix of ruthlessness and flair took India into the final. What the match lacked in tension, it made up for in sumptuous batting. For Bangladesh, there were fifties from Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim that oozed stunning strokes, though anything they could do, India would do better. At the toss - held beneath growling Midland skies but with a forecast of afternoon sun - Kohli's decision was easy. Negotiating the Indian opening bowlers under lights and in occasional drizzle was less so, and Soumya Sarkar's leaden-footed drive second ball downright foolish.

Undaunted, Sabbir Rahman crashed four rapid fours until he became Bhuvneshwar Kumar's second victim. That united Tamim and Mushfiqur, who punched and pulled, dabbed and drove their way to 154 for two in the 28th. A score of 330 or more was on. But Jadhav, an innocuous round-arm off-spinner of modest returns, bogged them down, and both fell to risky cross-batted shots. Bumrah hastened the decline, and it needed Mashrafe bin Mortaza - plus keen-eyed umpiring that spotted the ball touching Dhoni's discarded glove for five penalty runs (admittedly in a seven-ball over) - to take Bangladesh past 260. In now ideal conditions and on a reliable strip, India's top-order galacticos treated another record Edgbaston crowd to a display of exhilarating batsmanship.

Dhawan swashbuckled as ever, and zoomed past 300 runs for the tournament, before Sharma and Kohli vied to outdo each other for elegance and placement during an unbroken stand of 178. Mashrafe held his line, but his colleagues did not, their labours despatched with serenity or contempt, often both. Runs flowed as smoothly as an Astrud Gilberto song on a balmy evening. Sharma's determination to keep scoring after reaching his hundred denied Kohli his own, though he did notch up 8,000 one-day international runs in just 175 innings, seven fewer than A. B. de Villiers, the next-quickest.
Man of the Match: R. G. Sharma.

© John Wisden & Co.