Ravindra Jadeja's four-for sets up thumping Indian win

Rohit Sharma led India's chase of 174 with an unbeaten half-century, guiding India to a seven-wicket win in its opening Super Four match.

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates dismissing Mohammad Mithun with the team-mates.   -  AFP

It wasn't an insignificant affair like the one against Pakistan on Wednesday. Still, for the second time in three days, India put up a near-flawless performance to repeat its convincing victory against the arch-rival by mauling Bangladesh in its first Super Four clash of the Asia Cup on Friday.

On Wednesday, after being forced to field, India's bowling unit had folded Pakistan up for 162. Cut to Friday, India inserted Bangladesh and the bowlers virtually replayed the act by bowling Bangladesh out for 173 in the last over. A target of 174 wasn't going to test the India batting unless of course both the openers perished early.

But Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma took the fizz out of the chase with a 61-run stand. Once Dhawan missed a sweep off Shakib Al Hasan after dominating the partnership, Sharma took the lead and restored parity by pulling the left-arm spinner for a six. To the weekend crowd's sheer delight, when Ambati Rayudu was adjudged caught behind with India 68 runs adrift, in walked Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the veteran displayed some of his big-hitting prowess to please the spectators. Dhoni fell for 33 with India needing four runs for a victory, holing out at sweeper cover off Mashrafe Mortaza. Dinesh Karthik came out and scored the winning run, while Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 83, his 36th ODI half-century.

As it happened

Had it not been for Ravindra Jadeja's inspired spell on the return to India's ODI team after almost 15 months, the victory may not have been so smooth. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah being relentless as ever, Jadeja joined the pace duo to draw mistakes in plenty by Bangladesh batsmen and fold the innings for 173 in the last over.

 

Perhaps it was the fatigue of playing back-to-back games or thinking too much about the abrupt change in the Super Four schedule, Bangladesh batsmen just didn't appear to focus on the game and made it easier for the Indian bowlers.

Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto started on a cautious note. Once Kedar Jadhav lunged forward at deep backward square to latch on to a top-edge off Das' willow off a Kumar bouncer in the fifth over, it set the tone for the day. Next over saw Shanto chasing a Bumrah delivery that was pitched outside off and was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off second attempt.

At 16 for two, Bangladesh looked up to the old guard of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to rebuild the innings. However, Shakib perished due to a lapse in concentration in Jadeja's eventful opening over. The spinner overstepped off his second ball and the free-hit he bowled was ruled to be a dead ball since the bowler delivered the ball even when Sharma was resetting the field. The next ball was punched through the covers and the ball after that, Shakib swept it through the vacant square-leg region. It prompted a change in field but the batsman didn't notice it, spooning the next ball straight to Dhawan at square-leg to give Jadeja the confidence boost.

 

Mushfiqur too gifted his wicket away, with a reverse sweep straight to Yuzvendra Chahal at point, soon after Mohammad Mithun was trapped in front of the wickets by Jadeja. At 65 for five, Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain tried to get some semblance to the scoreboard. But their 36-run association ended abruptly with Mahmudullah being adjudged leg-before despite the ball ricocheting to the pad off his bat. But Bangladesh didn't have any reviews left. Jadeja struck for the fourth time three balls later with Mosaddek's miscued sweep resulting in a nick to Dhoni.

Captain Mashrafe Mortaza and off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz then added 66 runs for the eighth wicket to avoid Bangladesh being bowled out cheaply but their efforts were never going to be enough to put India under pressure.

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