Rohit Sharma guided India to a challenging total © AFP
Rohit Sharma guided India to a challenging total © AFP

By claiming that “India  need to do the basics right” at the toss, skipper Rohit Sharma was eager to secure his side a place in the final of Nidahas Trophy 2018 in match five versus Bangladesh. Opting to bowl first, Mahmudullah-led Bangladesh didn’t inject regular breakthroughs. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit added their first fifty-run stand in the tri-series, but run-making was difficult due to a slow and tired pitch. Nonetheless, Rohit’s return-to-form and late blitz from Suresh Raina helped India post 176 for 3 in 20 overs.

Mahmudullah shuffled his bowlers regularly since the start of play. Abu Hider, replacing Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hasan and Mushtafizur Rahman gave away only 38 off the first five overs. While Dhawan (35) and Rohit produced some expensive overs in between, Bangladesh kept things tight at 71 for 1 in 10 overs. Meanwhile, Dhawan’s timber was (later) dismantled by Rubel Hossain’s yorker.

It wasn’t a fluent knock from Rohit. But it was understandable post his flurry of low scores. Prior to this innings, he averaged 10 in 2018. However, Rohit changed the momentum with few big hits off the spinners, and rotating strike when scoring was difficult. Later, he also got cheeky with his shot selection; adding to the scoreboard. At No. 3, Raina fought hard for a 30-ball 47. The pair were seen agitated by not timing the ball swiftly, due to slow surface, but should be lauded for sticking around.

The duo stitched a 102-run stand, and accelerated post 14 overs. The last six overs added 72 runs, whereas the last three conceded 36. Rohit, courtesy his 89, went past Yuvraj Singh by slamming his 75th six in the format — most by an Indian. Raina, who applied more strength to his shots due to a sluggish pitch, also fired in the last few overs.

Note: 215 was chased down by Bangladesh in their last encounter versus Sri Lanka at the same venue. Will they chase it down once again? We would be penalised with Mushfiqur Rahim’s Nagin Dance if that happens. Nonetheless, the pitch is totally different from Saturday’s high-scorer.

Brief scores

India 176 for 3 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 89, Shikhar Dhawan 35, Suresh Raina 47; Rubel Hossain 2 for 27) vs Bangladesh