Feb 26, 2014
Subcontinental conditions. A target of around 300 to chase down. Lose a couple of quick wickets and create the ideal situation to unleash the ODI run-chase beast, who goes by the name, Virat ‘ton-up’ Kohli.
Virat Kohli scored his 19th ODI ton in the second match of the Asia Cup 2014 encounter against Bangladesh at Fatullah to ensure India won the match by six wickets. Kohli played a typically brilliant innings in India’s chase of 280, as he guided India towards another successful run chase whilst scoring a marvellous hundred (136).
Along with Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane too played a key role in India’s successful chase, after another flop show by the openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. He scored his fourth ODI fifty (73), and looked really stable batting at that No 4 position.
Both the batsmen joined at the centre after the Indian openers disappointed yet again, as they failed to give India the ideal start, but India’s No 3 and No 4, Kohli and Rahane turned the tables during the stay in the middle, as they completely deflated the spirit of Bangladeshis who looked lacklustre and tired in the field post the 30-over mark.
Kohli started off in his typical attacking fashion, and brought up his fifty in almost run-a-ball. Rahane, on the other hand took his time to settle down early on, but then started to hit some glorious shots around the wicket, complementing the Kohli-show at the other end.
With these two in the middle, India cruised towards their target of 280, as Kohli provided another chasing masterclass, and Rahane took some important lessons.
After a rather poor performance with the ball, India didn’t start too brightly with the bat as well. Both the Indian openers were stiffled by the Bangladeshi pace duo of Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain. They kept things tight, and didn’t let Dhawan or Rohit to free their arms.
Both the batsmen initially found the going very tough as they could manage just 13 off the first six overs. Rubel Hossain and Mashrafe Mortaza delivered back to back maiden overs early on, but then Dhawan hit a few boundaries to break the deadlock. Rohit, on the other hand, seemed troubled or most part of the first 10 overs, before he finally danced down the track to Mortaza in the ninth over for a huge six straight down the ground.
But Dhawan’s stay didn’t last long, as he fell to Abdur Razzak in the veteran spinner’s first over. Dhawan could just manage 28 off 44 balls. His dismissal has brought captain Virat Kohli to the centre, who will borne all the Indian hopes of a win in this match.
Soon after Dhawan was dismissed, Rohit too lost his wicket off the very next over to Ziaur Rahman, who clean-bowled the Indian opener with an inswinger which jagged back a distance. But after that, Kohli and Rahane accumulated the highest third wicket partnership in the history of Asia Cup — 213 runs.
With just about 30 runs needed to finish off the match, Kohli lost his wicket to a fine yorker from Rubel. Rahane too departed soon after Kohli’s dismissal, as he tried to life Sohag Gazi for a six over long on.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik finished off the formalities without any more hiccups.
Earlier in the match, after Kohli had won the toss and elected to bowl first, Bangladesh piled up a modern-dayesque total of 279 for the loss of seven wickets in their quota of 50 overs, riding on a wonderfully paced century by captain, Mushfiqur Rahim and an equally important knock of 77 by opener, Anamul Haque.
Anamul and Mushfiqur teamed up in the 11th over when Bangladesh lost their second wicket for just 49 on board. Both of them then batted beautifully, taking calculated risks to propel Bangladesh’s first innings score past 250, and close to 300. Anamul initially donned the role of the aggressor in the partnership, as Mushfiqur took his time to settle in. Anamul carted Aaron for two sixes in the latter’s first spell, as he brought up his fifty in 67 balls. Muhfiqur nicely rotated the strike and Anamul carried on with his attacking antics even after reaching his fifty. He hit Ashwin for 12 in an over.
Both of them stitched an innings defining 133-run partnership before Anamul Haque departed just after taking the batting powerplay. But the star for Bangladesh was their captain — their pocket dynamite. Mushfiqur scored the most wonderfully paced hundred you see in ODIs. He initially kept himself to just rotating the strike, but once he settled in, he started freeing his arms.
And once Anamul departed to a yorker from Aaron, Mushfiur adopted the role of being the aggressor. He didn’t spare a single Indian bowler, going after Shami in the latter stages as well.
Overall, Bangladesh would have been quite happy with their batting performance, but against any batting line-up which features Kohli, any total in the first innings can prove to be miniscule, as it turned out to be today, like many times in the recent past.
Bangladesh 279 for 7 in 50 overs (Anamul Haque 77, Mushfiqur Rahim 117; Mohammed Shami 4 for 50) lost to India 280 for 4 in 49 overs (Virat Kohli 136, Ajinkya Rahane 73; Ziaur Rahman 1 for 20) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli
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