|< Prev||Next >|
A typically destructive 175 (140b) from Virender Sehwag, who was assisted by a century on his World Cup debut by Virat Kohli, helped India to a mammoth 370/4 in their World Cup opener against Bangladesh at Mirpur. The Bangladesh bowling attack couldn't handle the pressure to perform in front of a rapturous home crowd and when it came to the batsmen, they were probably left with a bit too much to do.
Shakib Al Hasan won the toss at the packed Shere Bangla National Stadium and decided to put India in with the â€˜dew factor' in mind. As he had hinted a few days earlier, MS Dhoni chose to stick with the in-form Virat Kohli ahead of his CSK colleague Suresh Raina. While the rest of the batting line-up was on predictable lines, Zaheer Khan led India's attack with Sreesanth and Munaf Patel completing the pace trio. Bangladesh on the other hand, chose to leave out the talented Mohammad Ashraful from their line-up for the game, which otherwise was on expected lines.
It didn't take too long for Virender Sehwag to show that pressure or no pressure, there is no deviating him from his natural style of play. In a stadium oozing support for Bangladesh, Sehwag gave India and the World Cup a cracking start; smashing the first ball from Shafiul Islam for a boundary through the covers. On the last ball of the over, Shafiul presented Sehwag with a full and wide delivery which was promptly dispatched to the boundary once again. The scoreboard read 12/0, India were up and running, and Sachin Tendulkar was yet to face a ball.
Tendulkar then worked two boundaries off his legs and with Sehwag continuing to punish Rubel Hossain and Shafiul, India had raced to 32/0 off 3 overs. Shakib was quick to throw Abdur Razzak, the left arm spinner, in the mix and with Rubel and Razzak working well in tandem, the Indian acceleration was tempered atleast momentarily. Sehwag and Tendulkar did well though, to keep their heads down and do nothing silly while Razzak was bowling well and by the time the bowling powerplay was taken, they were ready to pounce on some rare mistakes by him.
Sehwag began the over with a couple of fours but it was Bangladesh who ended the over the happier side, with the opening breakthrough coming in the form of Tendulkar. A dreadful mix-up resulting in both batsmen within handshaking distance at the non-strikers end claimed the big wicket of Tendulkar, even as the crowd at the Shere Bangla found renewed voice.
Sehwag though, did well to not lose focus post the horror mix-up, and four overs after the departure of Sachin, Viru brought up a half-century with a massive six off Razzak. With Gambhir a reliable presence at the other end, Sehwag kept rotating the strike even as India went past the 150-mark in the 23rd over. Mahmudullah claimed Gambhir's wicket against the run of play, with a ball that straightened up a touch before sneaking through the bat-pad gap, as a promising innings was cut short for 39.
Sehwag continued in the same vein though, using power to dispatch Razzak to the ropes while cleverly opening the face against Mahmudullah as he inched closer to a typically brutal hundred. The ton came in 94 deliveries, and with Kohli looking at ease on his World Cup debut, India stepped up the pace. Kohli was all brilliance taking Naeem Islam for three boundaries in the 33rd over, driving and pulling with equal authority, and by the time India took the batting powerplay in the 35th over, the Mirpur crowd had gone reasonably quiet.
The powerplay yielded 48 runs, consisting of a monstrous six from Sehwag, and by the time the carnage ended, India were magnificently placed at 272/2. Sehwag and Kohli continued with the six-hitting, the former taking on Naeem Islam while the latter striking Mahmudullah out of the ground, and when Sehwag brought up his 150 with about 9 overs still left, a double-ton was a possibility! The 300 soon came up for India and with Kohli too looking good for triple-figures, there was no stopping India.
Sehwag finally fell for an epic 175, getting a bottom edge onto his stumps off Shakib Al Hasan, walking back to the pavilion after having scored the fifth highest individual score in a World Cup. The classy Kohli had raced to 94 by the time Sehwag departed, and he was lucky to bring up his ton with one ball of the innings left, as India closed at a mammoth 370/4.
A cushion of 370 runs and a surprise promotion to open the bowling was enough to pump up an excellent Sreesanth, who made his captain make the first use of the UDRS in the opening over of the Bangladesh chase. A viciously swinging yorker struck Tamim Iqbal and though umpire Dharmasena was right with replays suggesting the ball going down leg, Sreesanth was on fire.
Imrul Kayes though, had walked out with a license to hit, and after a few tentative hits to the boundary rope, he tore into Sreesanth in the fifth over, an over which went for 24 runs! Four fours, two of which came off classy shots, was enough for Sreesanth to lose the plot as he sent down five wides and was replaced by Munaf Patel immediately. Munaf had an immediate impact, sending back Kayes who was bowled off an inside edge, to leave Bangladesh at 56/1 after 7.
Imrul's opening partner, Tamim Iqbal, survived a close lbw appeal off Zaheer and though he looked anxious for most of the evening, he managed to hold the fort from one end for a long time. Junaid Siddique carted Munaf for a huge six and with Tamim getting a couple of fours off the same bowler, Bangladesh had crept up to 93/1 off 15. The asking rate was well beyond 7 though, and with Harbhajan and Yusuf keeping the big shots out, the target was slowly slipping out of Bangladesh's reach.
Junaid was the first to crack under the pressure, with Harbhajan getting him stumped off a sharp ball for 37, with the score reading 129/2. That brought skipper Shakib in the middle and though the boundaries started flowing fairly regularly once that happened, Bangladesh never really threatened to come close to the target. Shakib re-ignited the Bangladesh engine with a boundary off Yuvraj and though Sreesanth kept leaking runs, Munaf struck once again to send the dogged Tamim back for 70.
Shakib continued gamely for a while, probably the only Bangladeshi batsman who had the measure of Munaf, driving and sweeping aggressively till he finally fell to Yusuf Pathan for a well made 55. Left with an improbable 135 runs to get at a required rate of 13.5 thereafter, all Bangladesh could do was to try and get as close as possible to the Indian skipper. Mushfiqur Rahim followed his skipper soon after and though Raqibul Hasan sent the first ball of the batting powerplay for a six, Bangladesh eventually fell short by 87 runs. Munaf Patel was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming 4-48 from his 10 overs, while Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were rather miserly too, picking up 2-40 and 1-41 respectively.
Sehwag expectedly got the Man-of-the-Match award, helping India win their â€˜revenge game' in style, something he had spoken about a few days earlier. India would no doubt be buoyed by the win, though Dhoni would like to iron out the flaws in the bowling department for tougher challenges that lie ahead. Bangladesh can take heart from a decent showing from their batsmen, and with still a lot to play for, their dream of a quarter-final spot remains alive.
India: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Kohli, Pathan, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Munaf, Sreesanth.
Bangladesh: Tamim, Imrul, Junaid, Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim, Raqibul Hasan, Mahmudullah, Naeem, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul, Hossain.
India 370/4 (50 overs, 7.40 rpo)
Sehwag 175(140) Mahmudullah 1/49
Kohli 100(83) Shakib 1/61
Bangladesh 283/9 (50 overs, 5.66 rpo)
Iqbal 70(86) Munaf 4/48
Shakib 55(50) Zaheer 2/40
File Photograph Copyright: ICC World T20
This article is the exclusive copyright ofÂ·TheSportsCampus.com and permission to reproduce the same has not been granted.
- 20/02/2011 22:08 - World Cup Match 3: Sri Lanka destroy Canada by 210 runs
- 20/02/2011 17:50 - Edwards, Thomas come into West Indies World Cup Squad
- 20/02/2011 11:53 - World Cup Match 2: New Zealand rout Kenya by 10 wickets