Pune, Oct 19 (IANS) Virat Kohli proved why he is one of the best chasers in world cricket with a well-paced unbeaten century after spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav stifled the Bangladesh innings to trigger a collapse as India romped to a seven-wicket win with 51 balls to spare in Match 17 of ICC Men’s ODI World Cup on Thursday.
Kohli, playing a well-controlled inning, raised 44 runs for the second wicket with Shubman Gill (53), who also scored a half-century and an unbeaten 83-run partnership with KL Rahul, who scored a run-a-ball 34, as India reached 261/3 in 41.3 overs after restricting Bangladesh to 256/8 in 50 overs.
This is India’s fourth win in four matches in the World Cup and they are tied with New Zealand on eight points, placed second on Net Run Rate.
India started their chase of 257 as they have done so far in this World Cup with skipper Rohit Sharma taking the attack to the bowlers as they raised 88 runs for the opening partnership.
The India skipper lived in the fast lane as she first creamed Shoriful Islam for four through points and then flayed a wide one past the backward point in the first over. Rohit then blasted the 22-year-old left-arm pacer for a four and six in the third over, making the most of two poor deliveries bowled by the Bangladesh bowler.
Rohit struck four more boundaries — two of them off Nasum Ahmed and one each off Shoriful and Mahmud, who tried to pepper the Indian skipper with some short stuff and in the end sent back Rohit. The Mumbai batsman hooked Mahmud for a big six over fine leg but perished trying to repeat the shot off the next delivery. But this time the ball caught the toe-end of his bat and ended up sitting for an easy catch for Towhid Hridoy at the deep square-leg fence. Rohit’s 48 came off 40 balls and contained four boundaries and two maximums and the skipper was clearly unhappy at not being able to execute the shot as he wanted to.
Gill continued to flourish at the other end as he went on to complete his half-century — his maiden half-century in the World Cup coming off 53 balls (5×4, 2×6). He started on a sedate note as his skipper functioned in fourth gear. Gill started off with a sweetly-times boundary off Mustafizur Rahim’s first delivery. He nearly chopped on Nasum Ahmed onto his wickets in the fourth over before opening his arms with two straight sixes off the left-arm orthodox spinner over long-on.
Three fours, two of them off successive deliveries in the 12th over by Mustafizur propelled him towards his fifty. But just when it looked like the batter from Chandigarh would go on and score a big on, he holed on to Mahmudullah at midwicket off Mehidy Hasan Miraz, failing to despatch to the fence a delivery on his leg-stump. Kohli and Gill added 44 runs for the second wicket, taking India past the 100-run mark.
Kohli took over the leading role after that as he scored his 69th half-century, playing a cautious and steady innings. He hammered Hasan Mahmud for a four and a six off as the bowler overstepped twice. He dealt mostly in singles and doubles, in between hitting Nasum Ahmed, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Hasan Mahmud for a boundary each as he reached his half-century in 48 balls, hitting four boundaries and one maximum.
Shreyas Iyer (19 off 25 balls) did not last long, caught at midwicket off Mehidy Hasan Miraz. But Kohli and KL Rahul guided India to victory with a lot to spare.
Earlier, bowling in tandem, Jadeja and Kuldeep helped India fight back and restrict Bangladesh to 256/8 in 50 overs after openers Litton Das and Tanzid Hasan struck well-compiled half-centuries.
Jadeja (2-38 off 10) and Yadav (1-47) sent back the two set batters and stifled Bangladesh’s innings, triggering a middle-order collapse. Bangladesh from 110/1 in the 20th over could manage a modest score after electing to bat first on a flat wicket.
For India, pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohd Siraj came back well in the death overs to claim two wickets apiece though Siraj was a tad expensive at 2-60 off 10 overs.
However, the major concern for India in the match was the ankle injury suffered by all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who managed to bowl only three deliveries before he twisted his ankle trying to field in his follow-through.
Bangladesh were off to a flying start thanks to half-centuries by openers Litton Das (66 — 82 balls, 7×4) and Tanzid Hasan (51 0ff 43, 5×4, 3×6) as they raised 93 runs in 88 balls. However, they failed to capitalise on the platform the two openers provided.
Das and Tanzid flourish on a wicket offering no help to the bowlers, bringing up Bangladesh’s fifty in 9.2 overs as Tanzid hammered Shardul Thakur for two sixes and a four in three successive deliveries in his first over, racing to his half-century in 41 deliveries.
Kuldeep Yadav got India the much-needed breakthrough when he trapped Tanzid lbw for 51, getting a flat and fast delivery to straighten as the Bangladeshi batter swept across the line.
Bangladesh lost the match in the overs between 11-40 as they could manage only 125 runs losing five wickets.
Keeper Mushfiqur Rahim (38 — 46 balls, 1×4, 1×6) and Mahmudullah, who struck a 36-ball 46 with three fours and two sixes, ensured Bangladesh reached a decent total, raising 67 runs in the last 10 overs.
Bangladesh 256/8 in 50 overs (Tanzid Hasan 51, Litton Das 66, Mushfiqur Rahim 38, Mahmudullah 48; Ravindra Jadeja 2-37, Jasprit Bumrah 2-41, Mohd Siraj 2-60) lost to India 261/3 in 41.3 overs (Virat Kohli 103 not out, Rohit Sharma 48, Shubman Gill 53, KL Rahul 34 not out; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 2-47) by 7 wickets.