On the 10th anniversary of their famous win over Australia in Cardiff, Bangladesh thumped a full-strength Indian team in front of a raucous Mirpur crowd. Nineteen-year-old Mustafizur Rahman keeled over India's batsmen with an assortment of cutters to become the second Bangladesh bowler after Taskin Ahmed to claim a five-wicket haul on debut. His performance came after a rapid 102-run opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had formed the centrepiece of Bangladesh's 307, their highest against India in ODIs.
The 79-run victory, only their fourth against India, meant Bangladesh needed to win only one out of their next five ODIs to cement their spot in the 2017 Champions Trophy, which will be contested by the top-eight-ranked ODI sides as of September 30, 2015.
This was Bangladesh's ninth straight win at home, but for the first 15 overs of the second innings it seemed the streak would be broken. After an impressive start by Mustafizur and Taskin, Bangladesh looked like they were buckling under the experience and the class of the Indian batting. Rohit Sharma settled down and brought up his fifty off 53 balls, and Shikhar Dhawan was dropped twice by Mushfiqur Rahim.
Taskin, whose debut five-for last year came in a defeat, began the turnaround when asked to come back for a second spell. After missing the first two, Mushfiqur made amends, pouching Dhawan and Virat Kohli, both batsmen undone by extra bounce from Taskin. The wickets were set up by tight and intense bowling. Tasking bounded in and kept bowling the in-between length away from the batsmen's reach. The pressure contributed to the next two wickets, craftily snapped by Mustafizur.
The pressure rose with every dot and diving save in the field until a period of 10 runs off 29 balls culminated in Rohit's failing to read an offcutter from Mustafizur. Ajinkya Rahane was tied down similarly and succumbed to another offcutter, for nine off 27. That Rahane wicket reduced India to 115 for 4, and Bangladesh knew MS Dhoni's wicket could be the game. Drama was to follow.
Mustafizur had to leave the field for a while after colliding with Dhoni in the middle of the pitch, but arguably Bangladesh's best player of all time, Shakib Al Hasan, took over the baton. Bangladesh celebrated angrily when Shakib drew an edge from Dhoni, which Mushfiqur took beautifully to redeem himself after the earlier drops. If there was indignation palpable at the man who knocked out their hero of the night, Bangladesh found a poetic end as Mustafizur returned to snuff out whatever remote chance India had by dismissing Suresh Raina and R Ashwin off successive balls. He could have become only the second bowler after Fidel Edwards to claim a six-for on ODI debut had he hung onto a return catch off his penultimate delivery. However, he had done enough and finished with outstanding figures of 9.2-1-50-5.
The day had begun in similar vein for Bangladesh. In rare sunlight after some bleak weather, Tamim and Sarkar set to work immediately after Mashrafe Mortaza chose to bat, launching a relentless onslaught on the Indian bowlers. Bangladesh soared past 100 off only 79 balls, their fastest against a top-eight team. Tamim raced down the track to the fifth ball of the match, and though he inside-edged it towards fine leg, he had signalled Bangladesh's intent. They weren't going to hold back.
Tamim found his groove quickly, hitting three fours and a six off Umesh Yadav in the sixth over. The first one was edged but did not carry to Dhawan at wide first slip, the second was lashed over point, the next pulled powerfully before the over ended with a belt over covers as Tamim brought back memories of assaulting Zaheer Khan in the 2007 World Cup.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav erred on the pads, which was the theme of the early part of the innings and Dhoni was forced to bring his lead spinner - Ashwin - as early as the eighth over. The opening pair was separated in the 14th over by some indecision between the wickets, Raina's accurate arm cutting short Sarkar's promising innings at 54.
Tamim reached a fifty too before a drizzle grew heavier, resulting in a delay of about an hour. It catalysed a shift in momentum with Ashwin striking thrice in four overs after the resumption. Ashwin had an able ally in Raina who settled into an asphyxiating rhythm in an uninterrupted spell, which read: 10-0-40-0.
Sabbir Rahman, though, combined well with Shakib, assembling 83 runs in 14.2 overs before Ravindra Jadeja bowled Sabbir with a signature flat darter. Shakib could have also been dismissed on 38 had Jadeja held onto a tough return catch. Shakib would add 14 more before perishing to Umesh.
Bhuvneshwar and Umesh tightened things up at the death, giving away only 35 while picking up four wickets in the last five overs. However, late cameos from Mashrafe and Nasir hauled Bangladesh to their second 300-plus score in four ODIs. Interviewed at the innings break, Shakib said that Bangladesh were 25 runs short. But as it turned out, they had ended with 79 more, capping off the night in a mood of revelry with Taskin and Mashrafe reprising their chest-bump from the World Cup.