Before the three T20Is, Bangladesh never beat India in a T20I, leave along winning a series. But the team, led by Mahmudullah, stomped out all guns blazing and gave the hosts a run for their money. In the end, Rohit Sharma and Co delivered the blows in the crunch moments to win the series 2-1. In the third T20I at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India managed a 30-run win.
Rahul and Iyer take charge
Bearing in mind the dew factor, both Rohit and Mahmudullah wished to field first, but the latter got that privilege. Batting first, India did a reasonable job, scoring 174. The hosts didn’t make a great start as Shafiul Islam nipped out both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar in the powerplay. It was a 59-run stand between KL Rahul (52) and Shreyas Iyer (62) injected some momentum in India’s innings.
Al Amin Hossain removed Rahul in the 13th over to separate the duo. Rishabh Pant succumbed to yet another failure, falling prey to Soumya Sarkar. Manish Pandey, who replaced Krunal Pandya in the eleven, turned up with 22 off 13 balls with three fours. For the Tigers, Shafiul and Soumya got two wickets each. Mustafizur Rahman returned wicketless with an expensive economy rate of 10.50.
Mohammad Naim’s masterclass goes in vain
Liton Das started Bangladesh’s run-chase with a couple of fours, but Deepak Chahar nipped him out. In the very next ball, the speedster sent back Soumya for a golden duck. With their back pushed to the wall, Mohammad Naim (81) and Mohammad Mithun (27) got the innings back on track. The duo added 98 off 59 and took their team into the ascendancy. Yet again, Chahar came to the show.
The pacer got rid of Mithun to give India the breather. Shivam Dube notched his maiden wicket in national colours, cleaning up Mushfiqur Rahim for a golden duck. Thereafter, Dube removed Naim and Afif Hossain Dhrubo in succession. Yuzvendra Chahal ripped Mahmudullah’s poles apart to make India the favourites. Chahar picked up a hat-trick and six wickets to help India close out the game.
Deepak Chahar, the Player of the Match and Series, said
I never thought of this, not even in my dreams. I have been trying to work hard since my childhood and my efforts have paid off. Rohit was planning to give me the crucial overs and the management wanted to do the same. I always focus on the next ball, I keep doing that, until I don’t complete my spell.
Mahmudullah, the Bangladesh captain, said
I think we had a chance looking at the way Naim and Mithun had a partnership. We lost wickets in a rapid way and that cost us the game. We needed 49 runs in 5 overs, we had a chance, but we missed it. The efforts that boys have put in, that was good to see. We could not finish it well after winning the first game. I think Naim is a very talented batsman, the way he played his innings. All the three seamers executed their plans and bowled really well.
Rohit Sharma, the India captain, said
It were the bowlers who won us the game. I know how it was tough it was considering the dew factor. At one stage it was looking easy for them, things were looking tough for us. It was a great comeback. The boys took the responsibility and raised their hands up. I just reminded them this is what we are playing for. I can understand when wickets are not falling, it’s hard to pick up. I just had to remind what team they’re playing for, credit to the bowlers. Also to the batsmen – the way Rahul and Iyer played, that was magnificent.
That is what we want from the team – individuals taking the responsibility. Until we get close to the World Cup, we got to find the right balance. There are a few guys missing, but they’ll come back. Keeping everything in mind, we have few games in mind before we get into that flight to Australia. If we keep performing like we did today, it’s going to be a big headache for Virat and the selectors.
Shreyas Iyer said
To be honest it wasn’t an even innings. It was dicey at the start. It was really tough for me to analyse the wicket. Once I got in I thought I would give myself some time, it really worked out for me today. I have done it in the past and you need to back yourself in those situations. We needed a partnership at that time; I saw that their part-timer had come on and decided to go after him. I have been backing my instincts in the last couple of seasons. I am really happy with the consistency so far. It was really important for us to be in this tough situation as we have not been in such a situation before. I am really happy with the support we have got. This is a once in a lifetime experience and hopefully we carry forward the momentum.
Shivam Dube said
First two overs, it was not good from my side. Third over, when I came to bowl, I planned not to give boundaries. Rohit bhai told me to back my strengths. I tried to bowl the heavy ball and I backed myself. There was some pressure, but there was good backing by my skipper and the support staff. They told me to back my strengths. Happy in the end.