Sehwag, Gambhir power India to 6-wkt victory
Dambulla: Gautam Gambhir played a sedate but mature knock of 82 to power India to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second league match of the Asia Cup on Wednesday.
Despite losing two quick wickets after Sehwag’s departure, Gautam Gambhir did not lose his composure and gave India a solid platform for victory, which they completed with 19.2 overs to spare. Gambhir made 82 off just 101 balls with the help of 6 boundaries.
India suffered a little hiccup in the middle when they lost two quick wickets after Sehwag’s departure. Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to capitalize on the opportunity and got out for an identical score of 11. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan claimed both the wickets.
But Gambhir, in company of captain MS Dhoni, took the onus on himself and helped India start their Asia Cup journey on a positive note.
MS Dhoni played a typical circumspective knock of 38 and remained unbeaten to help India clinch an easy victory.
Chasing 168 for victory, India’s most trusted opening pair, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, gave India a good start, taking their team to 37 for no loss after umpire decided not to take the break despite Bangladesh being skittled out for 167.
But, Sehwag played one lose shot off Mortaza, only to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim for a quickfire 11 off 14 balls.
Earlier, Indian spinners performed brilliantly to bowl Bangladesh out for a paltry 167 runs in their first match of Asia cup on Wednesday.
Virender Sehwag bowled brilliantly as he took four wickets for just 6 runs. He took three wickets in his last over to wrap up Bangladesh’s innings in just 35th over.
Despite getting a superb start through their openers, Bangladesh fumbled as soon as they lost opener Tamim Iqbal. Iqbal, along with the other opener Imrul Kayes, took the Bangladesh score to 35 in just 2.5 overs before Kumar induced him into a false shot that landed safely in the hands of cover where Suresh Raina took a smart catch.
Praveen Kumar gave India the first breakthrough when he removed dangerous looking Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal for 22. Iqbal slammed 2 fours and a six during his short but entertaining stay at the crease.
Mohammad Ashraful again promised much, only to disappoint the Bangladeshi fans. Ashraful, considered to be the most talented batsman of his country, played a casual looking shot off Ashish Nehra only to be caught at long-leg boundary. Ashraful made only 20 off 37 balls.
After Ashraful’s departure, Bangladesh lost two quick wickets in opener Imrul Kayes and captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Kayes was removed by Ashish Nehra for 37 while Shakib was brilliantly bowled by Harbhajan Singh for 7. Kayes played a good knock of 37 off 35 balls. His innings consisted of 7 fours.
Mahmudullah, along with stumper Mushfiqur Rahim, tried to build the platform for his team with a 55-run stand, but he was removed by left-armer Ravindra Jadeja for 23, leaving Bangladesh in a spot of bother.
Immediately after Mahmudullah took the long walk back to the pavilion, Bangladesh lost another wicket in the form of well-set Mushfiqur Rahim, who was playing really well for his 55-ball 30.
Earlier, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the Asia Cup league match on Wednesday.
India had left out Ashok Dinda, Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin and Saurav Tiwary.
India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni(w/c), Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra
Bangladesh (Playing XI): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shafiul Islam, Naeem Islam, Syed Rasel