The Mirpur track continued to play havoc in the mind of the batsmen, but it was rain that had the final say in the series, forcing play to be abandoned in the third ODI with India stuttering at 119 for 9 after a start-stop innings
The Mirpur track continued to play havoc in the mind of the batsmen, but it was rain that had the final say in the series, forcing play to be abandoned in the third ODI with India stuttering at 119 for 9 after a start-stop innings. The match was officially called off at 8.10pm, India keeping their 2-0 lead.
India had travelled with a group of in-form, if not quite experienced, batsmen but they failed for a second time in two games. Their 119 for 9 had come in 34.2 overs after the spells of rain shortened the game to 40 overs a side, with the Bangladesh pace attack dictating terms once again.
Mashrafe Mortaza and Al-Amin Hossain started where they left off in the second ODI, regularly beating the bat and restricting the free-flowing and predominantly front-foot batsmen. Taskin Ahmed too was accurate, picking up a wicket off his first ball and generally ensuring proper support to more experienced bowlers.
The trio shared five wickets with Mashrafe picking up 1 for 25 in eight overs, Al-Amin taking 2 for 23 in six and Taskin claiming 2 for 15 in eight - one of the most miserly spells by a Bangladesh pace bowler. Shakib Al Hasan was his usual dependable self, picking up three wickets. Al-Amin however was the best of the lot, ensuring very little space for the batsmen to open up their arms, and bowling some unplayable deliveries.
India hardly got off the blocks even though Suresh Raina decided to bat first after winning his first toss in the series. Openers Robin Uthappa and Ajinkya Rahane left more than they played. Uthappa, ever eager to drive anything remotely close to a drivable length, was given few opportunities in his 21-minute stay. He took one boundary but the extra bounce kept him in check until Mashrafe Mortaza drew him wide and found him edging to first slip where Nasir Hossain took an easy catch.
Three balls later, Al-Amin Hossain was rewarded for his persistence against Rahane. He had bowled him two full overs without giving away much, and then had him edging a beautiful delivery, short of length and rearing on the batsman. For a moment Rahane had looked to work that ball towards midwicket but before he could turn, the ball had taken a high edge on his bat and looped to Nasir at first slip.
Taskin Ahmed, fresh off a five-wicket haul in his debut ODI on Tuesday, had Ambati Rayudu edging to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim after he planted his front foot to the short of a length delivery, backed away slightly to work it through third man and was beaten by the bounce.
A short rain break followed. Play resumed twenty-five minutes later, but the situation worsened for India. Manoj Tiwary, playing his first ODI in almost two years, lasted just six balls. He was beaten by Al-Amin's length, as he followed the ball, edging it to Anamul Haque at second slip.
A very large band of cloud gathered over the stadium by this time and at 2.30pm, the players went off as it rained heavier than in the first break. The match was stopped for two and a half hours, after which overs were reduced.
Shakib took over the wicket-taking once play restarted, with his controlled left-arm spin. As if holding the ball on a string, he made the batsmen play almost every delivery and was rewarded with the wickets of Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha and Pujara.
Pujara batted better than the rest of the India batsmen, holding up one end when the top order and the likes of Raina and Saha attacked but didn't last long.
Interestingly, captain Mushfiqur Rahim didn't use Sohag Gazi until the 32nd over although he was the only change in the team for this game, replacing Ziaur Rahman. He took one wicket, but rain returned soon after, for the third time, this time more damagingly, denying the Bangladesh batsmen the chance to show they had learned their lessons from the second match.