All-round Bangladesh ensures first T20I victory over India

Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, and the bowlers contribute in Bangladesh’s historic seven-wicket win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Mushfiqur Rahim (60, 43b, 8x4, 1x6) laid the foundation for the chase of 149.   -  AFP

All-round Bangladesh excelled in all three departments as India fell to a seven-wicket defeat at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Sunday.

Mushfiqur Rahim (60, 43b, 8x4, 1x6) and Soumya Sarkar (39, 35b, 1x4, 2x6) combined well to lay the foundation for the chase of 149, ensuring Bangladesh’s first-ever victory over India in Twenty20 Internationals in its ninth attempt. Bangladesh has now taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Needing 22 to win off two overs, Mushfiqur unleashed his pull, his ramp stroke and his drive to collect three consecutive boundaries off left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed, off the third, fourth, and fifth deliveries, and made it four out of four when his leading edge ran away to the third-man boundary.

As it happened| Mushfiqur shines as Bangladesh goes 1-0 up

A total of 18 runs had been scored in that over, and Mahmudullah connected an almighty pull in the next over to get his team past the finish line.

Mushfiqur leads charge

Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot against India during the first T20 cricket match at the Arun Jaitley stadium.   -  AP


Mushfiqur batted with his characteristic patience and enterprise. Sarkar gave him good company for much of his innings. Their partnership was worth 60, off 55 deliveries. The two collected boundaries via the odd lusty hit or unorthodox stroke even as runs arrived steadily in the interim through singles and twos.

Mushfiqur repeatedly brought out the sweep and the reverse-sweep, for mixed results, but was more or less content nudging the ball around. When his team needed it, he upped the ante, ensuring an exciting finish and deflating the expectant Indian crowd.

The left-hander Sarkar was steady yet not rash as the target didn’t demand it. But he wasn’t in his shell all the time; he struck a couple of neat sixes when he saw the opportunity. Both of them were off spinners – a pull and a reverse-sweep.

Mushfiqur and Sarkar were slow in the middle overs, and the required run-rate kept rising. And when Sarkar was dismissed, bowled by Khaleel Ahmed in the 17th over, the Indian team saw an opportunity. However, Mushfiqur had other plans. If India had taken a referral in the 10th over, bowled by left-arm spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, the script may have been different; Mushfiqur, then on 6, would have been dismissed lbw. He got another reprieve when he was dropped by Krunal Pandya, who also let the ball roll
over the midwicket ropes.

Late cameos

Thanks to the discipline of Bangladesh’s seamers, frequent bowling changes in the middle and the enterprise of its spinner, the Indian innings was full of hiccups.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA


Thanks to the discipline of Bangladesh’s seamers, frequent bowling changes in the middle and the enterprise of its spinner, the Indian innings was full of hiccups. If not for the late cameos from Krunal and Washington Sundar, India may have struggled to reach 130. The two added 28 runs together in 10 deliveries to lend some weight to the total.

The period leading up to the business end had been full of setbacks for the home team. First, the set Shikhar Dhawan was run out; turning for a non-existent second run after Rishabh Pant had tucked a delivery from Mahmudullah to midwicket, he was too late to return to the popping crease at the striker’s end. His laborious innings of 41 (42b, 3x4, 1x6) had ended without a final flourish, leaving the middle order having much to do to make up for the slow start.

Soon after, Shivam Dube, the debutant, was caught acrobatically by off-spinner Afif Hossain, and Pant, trying to hit his first six of the innings, was caught on the long-on boundary. Big hits were few and far between, thanks in no small measure to off-spinner Afif Hossain’s tight spell of 3-0-11-1. At this stage, India was struggling at 120 for 6.

Shaky start

Dhawan was India's top run-getter of the night, with a 42-ball 41.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA


Dhawan’s solidity had been complemented well by Shreyas Iyer (22, 13b, 1x4, 2x6), who played with his natural cavalier spirit. The seamers – Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman – consistently bowled back of a length, making it difficult for the top-order batsmen to put them away.

Iyer brought some momentum to the innings by hitting two sixes off Aminul Islam Biplob, the 19-year-old leg-spinner, but paid the price for his approach by being tempted to hit Biplob for a six for the third time.

Captain Rohit Sharma and No. 3 K. L. Rahul departed cheaply in what had been a shaky start in the first seven overs. Rohit, who became the most capped Indian T20I player with this match, was trapped leg-before-wicket by a back-of-a-length delivery from Shafiul Islam that angled into him and struck his back leg. Rahul perished on a short delivery by Biplob; shaping to play the cut. India never really recovered from the early damage.

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