Rahim hands Bangladesh stun­ning win in 1,000th T20

The National - News - - SPORT | CRICKET - AJIT VIJAYKUMAR

Bangladesh won the 1,000th T20 In­ter­na­tional in his­tory in style by se­cur­ing a seven-wicket win over In­dia in New Delhi on Sun­day.

The match was mired in con­tro­versy well be­fore the start with In­dia’s cap­i­tal city ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­treme lev­els of air pol­lu­tion. The well-be­ing of play­ers and spec­ta­tors was a big con­cern and there were doubts over host­ing of the match in pol­lu­tion lev­els that were haz­ardous.

But as match time ap­proached, the smog cleared to a de­gree and it was Bangladesh wick­et­keeper Mush­fiqur Rahim who led the way with a sparkling in­nings of 60 off 43 balls, which in­cluded four suc­ces­sive bound­aries in the penul­ti­mate over that changed the course of the match.

Up un­til that time, Bangladesh were be­hind the game chas­ing In­dia’s to­tal of 148-6. But with 22 needed from 12 balls, Rahim thrashed left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed for 16 runs in four balls to end the con­test.

Tigers bowlers rule on slug­gish pitch

Bangladesh won the toss and de­cided to bowl first in the evening game as dew was go­ing to be a big fac­tor in the sec­ond in­nings. In­dia’s bats­men found it dif­fi­cult to time the ball on a slow sur­face at the Arun Jait­ley Sta­dium, open­ing bats­man Shikhar Dhawan (41) top-scor­ing but tak­ing 42 balls in the process.

All In­dian bats­men en­dured a dif­fi­cult time against Bangladesh’s spin­ners as leg-spin­ner Aminul Is­lam (2-22) and off-spin­ner Afif Hos­sain (1-11) gave noth­ing away in their three overs.

There was sharp turn on of­fer for spin­ners and the ball also stuck in the pitch, mak­ing stroke mak­ing ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

KL Rahul strug­gled to keep a cut shot of Aminul down while debu­tant Shivam Dube got a lead­ing edge to the bowler Afif. In the end, even the freeflow­ing Rishabh Pant was re­duced to run-a-ball 27 off 26 balls.

Three sixes in the last two, how­ever, from Wash­ing­ton Sun­dar and Krunal Pandya helped In­dia edge close to 150 mark.

In­dia strike back

It was a de­cent to­tal and the In­di­ans knew bat­ting was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult, even with dew around. Seamer Deepak Cha­har struck in the open­ing over, get­ting Li­ton Das to mist­ime to cover. Leg-spin­ner Yuzven­dra Cha­hal had debu­tant opener Mo­hammed Naim caught at long on as the hosts clawed their way back at 54-2 in the eighth over.

While there were no more wick­ets for the next half hour, In­dia’s spin­ners kept a tight leash on the bats­men.

Sun­dar gave away just 25 runs from his four overs while

Cha­hal was the best In­dian on show, pick­ing up 1-24.

Game-chang­ing moment

Cha­hal’s fig­ures could have been bet­ter had Pandya taken a sim­ple catch of Rahim at mid-wicket in the 18th over when the bats­man was on 38 and Bangladesh had just lost the well-set Soumya Sarkar for 39. But Pandya not only dropped a sit­ter, the ball also went for a four. From there, it was one-way traf­fic as the ex­pe­ri­enced Rahim tar­geted Khaleel in the penul­ti­mate over with a flurry of bound­aries. The Tigers won with three balls to spare

AP

Mush­fiqur Rahim scored an un­beaten fifty in the first T20 against In­dia at the Arun Jait­ley Sta­dium in New Delhi

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