New Delhi: The inaugural Asia Cup Twenty20 started with pre-tournament favourites India thrashing hosts Bangadesh by 45 runs at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Wednesday.
Batting first after losing the toss, India started on a precarious note, losing opener Shikhar Dhawan in the second over. The Delhi batsman was soon followed by his state-mate Virat Kohli, 12 balls later. At 4.3 overs, India were 22/2, with Bangladesh new ball bowlers extracting enough life out of a somewhat seam friendly pitch.
ALSO READ: AS IT HAPPENED
Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and the captain Mustafizur Rahman himself bowled within the limits and troubled the Indian top-order batsmen.
After a brief stay, Suresh Raina also returned to the hut, leaving Rohit Sharma stranded with the middle-order. But the arrival of Yuvraj Singh brought a sense of awareness and clam. The duo slowly but surely started to build the much needed partnership.
Their 55-run 4th wicket partnership laid the foundation for a late onslaught, which youngster Hardik Patel did. Patel and Rohit stitched 61-run fifth wicket partnership which propelled India to 166.
Rohit played exceptionally well to make 83 off 55 deliveries. The Mumbai batsman waited for the right moment, and once he crossed the 50-run mark, he punished every Bangladesh bowler.
He was ably supported by Pandya, who himself played blinder. His 31 off 18 deliveries was laced with four fours and a six.
India posted 166 for 6 in 20 overs.
For Bangladesh, Al-Amin Hossain took three wickets from his four overs spell, while Mashrafe Mortaza, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan got a wicket each.
In defence, veteran paceman Ashish Nehra produced a brilliant first over against the opening pair of Soumay Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun. The left-arm pacer clean bowled the temporary opener Mithun off the second delivery of the third over, with a beauty.
It was what India needed.
Youngster Jasprit Bumrah followed it up by removing Sarkar for 11 in the fourth over. Then, Sabbir Rahman and Imrun Kayes stopped the rot with some sensible batting. But the partnership was broken in the penultimate delivery of the 10th over, which reduced Bangladesh to 51/3 after the end of 10th over.
With ever increasing asking rate, Bangladesh kept losing wickets. Experienced Shakib Al Hasan found himself run-out trying an non-existent single, thanks to a superb throw by Suresh Raina.
But the fall of Sabbir Rahman effectively ended Bangladesh's hopes. The right-handed batsman was batting beautifully, until he was undone by an brilliant Pandya delivery in the first ball of the 15th over.
In the 17th over, Nehra missed a golden chance to complete a T20I hat-trick. He dismissed Mahmudullah and Mashrafe Mortaza off successive deliveries. He was the pick of the bowler, taking three wickets. Bumrah, Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin got a wicket each, while Ravindra Jadeja failed to pick one.
Earlier, there was some concern regarding the availability of skipper Mahendra SIngh Dhoni due to a spasm. But he nevertheless turned-up to guide India to a comfortable win.
India next play eternal rivals Pakistan on Saturday at the same venue.