After narrowly missing out on an opportunity of beating India in a T20I back in 2016, Mushfiqur Rahim finally found redemption in Delhi on Sunday as he steered Bangladesh to its maiden triumph over their neighbours in the shortest format of the game. Thanks to his unbeaten 60, the Tigers knocked India down by seven-wicket to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. This is the first time in nine matches that Bangladesh have managed to beat India in a T20I. This has also been the first time they have won a T20I with neither Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal in the team.
As cricket took centre stage despite severe pollution in the capital, the visitors chased down India’s 148 on a sticky surface with seven wickets and two balls to spare. With Bangladesh needing 22 off the last 12 balls, Rahim smashed four boundaries off as many balls in the penultimate over bowled by Khaleel Ahmed to seal the fate of his team in the fixture.
Earlier, he along with Soumya Sarkar (39 off 35 balls) added 60 runs for the third wicket to lay the foundation of this successful run-chase following the wickets of two openers, Liton Das (7) and debutant Mohammed Naim (26).
For India, barring leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (1 for 24), all the other bowlers had an average day at the office. Only Chahal tested the Bangladesh batsmen with his variations and skills.
Earlier in the first innings, the Indian batting was appeared to be over-cautious in its approach after losing the toss and batting first on that typical slow-low Kotla surface. At the top, after skipper Rohit Sharma’s (9) and KL Rahul’s (15) early dismissals, Shikhar Dhawan steadied the ship, but at a slow pace, managing just 41 off 42 balls.
Shreyash Iyer played an entertaining knock of 22 off just 13 deliveries which included two sixes but much like some of his colleagues, he failed to capitalise his start. Shivam Dube’s much-awaited debut ended with just one run while Rishabh Pant managed 27 off 26 balls.
In fact, had it not been for some gritty stroke-making by Washington Sundar (14 off 5 balls) and Krunal Pandya (15 off 8 balls), India would not have managed to cross the 140-run mark.
For the Tigers, pacer Shafiul Islam (2/36) and young leg-spinner Aminul Isam (2/22) shared four wickets between them. The boys were also fantastically led by Mahmudullah.
The caravan of the series will now move to Rajkot, where the second game of the series will be played on November 7.