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Blistering Rohit scripts India’s comeback victory

Player of the match: Rohit Sharma    

Brief scores:

India 154 for 2 in 15.4 overs (Rohit 85) beat Bangladesh 153 for 6 in 20 overs (Naim 36, Azam 50; Chahal 2 for 28) by eight wickets.

The unexpected defeat in Delhi hurt India’s pride and to compensate that, the hosts produced a commanding performance at Rajkot to draw level in the three-match T20I series on Thursday (November 7). Courtesy to a scorching 43-ball 85 by skipper Rohit Sharma, who was playing his 100th T20 international game, India chased down 154 with 26 balls to spare to hand Bangladesh an eight-wicket thrashing.

With the dew on the field, the 150 odds target on that flat deck, was quite moderate considering India’s batting prowess. Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled to get going for the major part of his innings in the previous match, hit Mustafizur Rahman for two boundaries back to back in the very first over to get the momentum early in his team’s favour during this run-chase at Rajkot.

After the end of first three overs, India were 22 for no loss and the Bangladeshi bowlers were looking to tightening the screws. However, soon the stand-in Indian skipper unleashed himself with two fours and a straight six off Mustafizur in the fourth over.

And from that point, it was a Rohit Sharma show.

He went berserk to dampen the spirits of the Bangladeshi bowlers. During his 43-ball stay at the crease, Rohit belted six fours and six sixes to stamp his authority in the proceedings. It was a sheer exhibition of strokeplay.

He along with Dhawan shared a 118-run opening stand in just 65 balls. That was the game, set and match for India. And in that partnership, Dhawan just played the second fiddle with a 27-ball 31 and enjoyed his partner’s attacking batsmanship from the best seat at the venue. Thanks to Rohit’s dominance, India’s fate in the game was sealed within the first 10 overs. After that, there were formalities left, which the likes of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul completed in style.

Amongst the Bangladeshi bowlers, barring young leggy Aminul Islam (2 for 29) none of his colleagues had any sort of impact against the rampaging Indian batting unit.

Earlier after losing a crucial toss, Bangladesh started strongly with Liton Das and young Mohammad Naim. They took on under-pressure Khaleel Ahmed from his very first over to get themselves going. The opening pair contributed 60 with eight overs. However, the introduction of Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin halted their progress as wickets kept on falling at regular intervals in the middle-overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim, who was Bangladesh’s hero at Kotla had a poor outing with the bat as he failed to execute his favourite sweep shot properly and got out to Chahal for just 4. Though others like Soumya Sarkar and captain Mahmudullah played a few decent knocks in the middle-order yet Bangladesh did not get a strong finish in the death overs.

For India, Chahal was the most impressive bowler with figures of 2 for 28 in his four overs. Also, others like Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar chipped in with handy performances.

The final match of the series will be played in Nagpur on next Sunday (November 10).

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About Rohit Sankar

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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