Birmingham: On a wicket that changed its character after Indian openers Rohit Sharma (104) and K.L. Rahul (77) put on a 180-run partnership in the first 29.2 overs, to be restricted to 314 for 9, the Indian bowlers, through a clinical bowling performance, ensured a 28-run victory over Bangladesh at Edgbaston and booked their place in the final four.
Bangladesh, who were bowled out for 286 through Jasprit Bumrah’s four-wicket haul and backed by Hardik Pandya’s three wickets, were knocked out of the World Cup.
Sharma lit up the Edgbaston ground through his fourth century in this World Cup, equalling Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, who had also hit four tons in the 2015 World Cup. The 180-run partnership, which is India’s highest in the World Cup, erased the 174-run record set by Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan against Ireland at Hamilton in 2015.
When on nine, Sharma was dropped by Tamim Iqbal off Mustafizur Rahman and he made the Bangladesh bowlers pay a heavy price for that miss. Soumya Sarkar ended Sharma’s majestic innings, but only after he had hit 104 off 92 balls with seven boundaries and five sixes. As if disturbed by the fall of Sharma’s wicket, Rahul too returned to the pavilion when he was well set for a century. He went for a cut to a slower ball from Rubel Hossain and was caught behind at 77.
Mustafizur’s five-wicket spell for Bangladesh then went in vain.
Discarding the cardinal rule of having big partnerships, the Bangladesh batsmen chased their target. But the Indian bowlers ensured that all their batsmen, except Shakib Al Hassan (66) and Mohammad Saifuddin (51n.o) did not stay on to play a threatening knock. A seventh-wicket partnership between Sabbir Rahman (36) and Mohammad Saifuddin saw a small fightback through a 66-run partnership, but by then it was too late.
The story of Bangladesh’s chase went like this. Mohammad Shami removed the dangerous Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal for 22 in the 10th over after he put on just 39 runs. Hardik Pandya ended Sarkar’s knock of 33 after he had put on 35 with Shakib Al Hassan. At a time when Mushfiqur and Shakib looked like steering Bangladesh smoothly, Chahal ended the 47-run partnership by removing Mushfiqur, who swept to Shami at square leg for 24.
The consistent Shakib reached his sixth 50 in this World Cup in 58 balls and his 46th half-century of his ODI career giving India some jitters, but Pandya struck to remove Linton Das (22), whose pull looped into the hands of Dinesh Karthik at midwicket. That partnership too yielded only 41 runs in 6.4 overs when more was needed.
Four wickets down and 150 more needed in the last 20 overs, Bumrah clean bowled Mosaddek Hossain for 3 and in the 33rd over Pandya ended Shakib’s knock of 66 with a slower one that was hit to Karthik at cover. Thus India jumped on to the driver’s seat to move into to the semi-final.
India reached the 200-run mark in the 34th overs with a run rate of six per over. With Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant picking the gaps well, they put on 42 runs in the next 5.4 overs. But then Kohli pulled Mustafizur to the lone fielder in the deep, bringing his knock of 26 off 27 balls to an end. The fall of that wicket silenced the Indian fans, but the excited Tigers began to wave their flag vigorously.
This was the first time in six innings that Kohli had fallen without getting a half-century, and that was a hugely disappointing effort for the fans. More distress followed when within a space of two balls, Hardik Pandya too fell edging to Sarkar at the slip for a duck. This double-wicket maiden by Mustafizur in the 39th over seemed like Bangladesh had put the breaks on the Indians.
Now all eyes turned towards Pant, who hit Mohammad Saifuddin for three consecutive boundaries. The left-hander added 40 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 5.3 overs when his slog sweep off Shakib landed in the hands of Mosaddek Hossain at deep backward square leg. The ball rebounded off his shoulder, yet Hossain managed to hold on to it.
Karthik, who had replaced Kedar Jadhav, scored eight runs off nine balls, but Dhoni, through his 35 off 33 balls, which was again adjudged as slow innings, ensured India a battling total to halt the Tigers.
K. Rahul c Mushfiqur b Rubel 77
R. Sharma c Liton b Soumya 104
V. Kohli c Rubel b Mustafizur 26
R. Pant c Mosaddek b Shakib 48
H. Pandya c Soumya b Mustafizur 0
M. Dhoni c Shakib b Mustafizur 35
D. Karthik c Mosaddek b Mustafizur 8
B. Kumar run out 2
M. Shami b Mustafizur 1
J. Bumrah not out 0
Extras (lb6, nb1, w6) 13
Total (nine wickets, 50 overs) 314
Did not bat: Y. Chahal
Fall of wickets: 1-180 (Sharma), 2-195 (Rahul), 3-237 (Kohli), 4-237 (Pandya), 5-277 (Pant), 6-298 (Karthik), 7-311 (Dhoni), 8-314 (Kumar), 9-314 (Shami)
Bowling: Mortaza 5-0-36-0 (w1); Saifuddin 7-0-59-0; Mustafizur 10-1-59-5 (nb1, w2); Shakib 10-0-41-1 (w1); Mosaddek 4-0-32-0 (w1); Rubel 8-0-48-1; Soumya 6-0-33-1 (w1).
T. Iqbal b Shami 22
S. Sarkar c Kohli b Pandya 33
S. Al Hassan c Karthik b Pandya 66
M. Rahim c Shami b Chahal 24
L. Das c Karthik b Pandya 22
M. Hossain b Bumrah 3
S. Rahman b Bumrah 36
M. Saifuddin not out 51
M. Mortaza c Dhoni b Kumar 8
R. Hossain b Jasprit Bumrah 9
M. Rahman b Jasprit Bumrah 0
Extras (1b, 1lb, 10w) 12
Total (all out, 48 overs) 286
Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Iqbal), 2-74 (Sarkar), 3-121 (Rahim), 4-162 (Das), 5-173 (Mossadek), 6-179 (Al Hassan), 7-245 (Shabbir), 8-257 (Mortaza), 9-286 (Rubel), 10-286 (Mustafizur).
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9-0-51-1 (3w), Jasprit Bumrah 10-1-55-4 (2w), Mohammad Shami 9-0-68-1 (1w), Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-50-1 (2w), Hardik Pandya 10-0-60-3 (2w)