India inches home in last-ball thriller

India effected a remarkable turnaround and snatched a one-run victory over Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 Group 2 match in Bengaluru.

The final moment... a sprinting Dhoni runs out Mustafizur Rahman and India wins by one run.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Bangladesh's key batsman Tamim Iqbal is stumped by M. S. Dhoni.   -  PTI

Virat Kohli perishes.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Nerves were shredded, nails got chewed and throats turned hoarse as a rousing Wednesday night witnessed India effect a remarkable turnaround and snatch a one-run victory over Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 Group 2 match here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

>Full scorecard

Pursuing India’s 146 for seven, Bangladesh needed 11 from the last over with four wickets in hand. Hardik Pandya conceded a single to Mahmudullah, suffered two fours at the hands of Mushfiqur Rahim and when it boiled down to two from three deliveries, M. S. Dhoni’s men set a miracle in motion, helped largely by the visitor’s desire to go for glory instead of a humble single or two.

Rahim and Mahmudullah perished with wild hoicks and a nervous Mustafizur Rahman was no match for a sprinting Dhoni, who knocked down the stumps to leave both the batsman and Bangladesh stranded. The visitor finished with 145 for nine and crashed out of the tournament.

Riding on Tamim Iqbal’s impetus and Shakib Al-Hasan’s brief but bludgeoning blade, Bangladesh threatened at different points before committing hara-kiri. Tamim helped Bangladesh tide over Mohammad Mithun’s dismissal in the third over after R. Ashwin tempted the batsman to clear the ropes and a leaping Pandya caught well.

Southpaw Tamim, who was a doubtful starter on match-eve, was evidently in his elements. He pummelled a few, edged some and made it worse for Jasprit Bumrah, who had dropped him off Ashwin. Tamim pinched four fours off a Bumrah over and threatened more before he danced down and missed one from Ravindra Jadeja while Dhoni whipped the bails with glee.

The Indian captain’s lightning hands were in vogue again as Sabbir Rahman’s cameo was curtailed. But Bangladesh was never restrained as Shakib hit through the line. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza may have gone without much ado but the required rate stayed within grasp until Ashwin, who had dropped Shakib (on eight) off Pandya, made amends and lured a snick.

> World T20: Day Nine in pictures

At 95 for five, the contest was at its tipping-point but Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah, kept alive Bangladesh’s flame. When a diving Dhoni grassed Sarkar off Bumrah, the Indian skipper’s men were seemingly down for the count but India battled till the last and the triumph was a just reward for its resilience.

Earlier, Mortaza won the toss, elected to field and Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan added 42 for the first wicket, the best for India in recent times. Initially, the runs and dot-balls stayed even, though. Dhawan pulled off-spinner Shuvagata Hom and Rohit square-drove seamer Al-Amin Hossain for fours.

The shackles were seemingly shed in the last over of the Power Play as Rohit hoisted left-arm seamer Mustafizur for six and Dhawan did an encore. Just as the crowd roared 'we-want-six,’ Rohit miscued a swipe.

India was 42 for one (after Power Play) and it became 45 for two with Dhawan following Rohit. The southpaw shuffled across to Shakib and was struck in line.

Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina then stitched a 50-run third-wicket partnership across 40 deliveries. A sliver of luck was relished by Kohli (on 11) as his stinging shot popped off Al-Amin in the latter’s follow-through. Among turgid overs, Raina offered some hope. He nonchalantly flicked and smote sixes off Al-Amin and when Kohli carted Shuvagata over mid-wicket, it seemed India’s moderate run-rate graph may finally sprout some skyscrapers. But, like it happened through the innings, a slump was around the corner.

Kohli, Raina, Pandya and Yuvraj Singh fell in succession and even with Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja trying their best in the slog, India missed the par-score of 160. Thankfully, it proved more than adequate in the end.

> Watch: Soumya Sarkar takes a blinder to dismiss Hardik Pandya

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