BANGLADESH TOUR OF INDIA, 2019
Deepak Chahar picked up the best-ever bowling figures in T20 internationals © AFP
Nineteen years ago, to the day, Bangladesh made their Test debut against India in Dhaka. On Sunday (November 10), Mohammad Naim got them close to scripting another first as they threatened to snatch the third T20I – and the series – from India in Nagpur chasing 175. Naim raced away to 81 off 48 but India’s late resurgence – orchestrated by Deepak Chahar (6 for 7) and Shivam Dube (3 for 30) – helped them seal a comfortable 30-run win.
Chahar not only picked up a five-wicket haul but also registered the best-ever figures in T20Is, embellished by a final-over hat-trick. The young pacer eclipsed the record held by Ajantha Mendis, who had picked 6 for 8 against Zimbabwe in 2012.
There were sparkling half-centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer with India going into the game a bowler short and including Manish Pandey. Dube played his role to perfection, getting ride of Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim and Afif Hossain, as Bangladesh slumped from 110 for 2 to 135 for 8, losing the plot completely at the business end of the chase.
The fascinating mini-battle
Shikhar Dhawan’s poor T20I returns have only strengthened calls for a change. Virat Kohli’s absence means both KL Rahul and Dhawan can make a claim at the same time. Rohit Sharma’s early dismissal on the night gave India the perfect scenario to make a few crucial judgements. India had only three runs on the board after the first two overs when Dhawan took charge and got the innings going with two boundaries. Rahul then took on Shafiul Islam and got two more boundaries in to get the ball rolling, nay, racing away.
With one spot on offer, both candidates wanted to make a statement. Dhawan flourished for a brief while but fell for 19 off 16. Rahul, though, grabbed his chance and struck a half-century before falling for 52 off 35. Dhawan’s 2019 in T20Is makes for a poor reading – 12 innings, 272 runs at a strike rate of 110.56. Time for a change when India pick a full-strength side?
The Iyer positive
India’s total of 174 was built on the craft of Rahul and the belligerence of Shreyas Iyer. When Iyer walked in, India were wobbling at 35 for 2 in the sixth over. As Rahul kept the boundaries flowing, Iyer worked his way to 8 off 11. The shift came in the 11th over against Aminul Islam when Iyer struck the legspinner for a six and a four. The runs started coming fast as Afif Hossain took some serious stick in the 15th over. The first three balls were smoked for three consecutive sixes as the right-hander completed his maiden half-century in the format off 27 balls. Iyer has made rapid progress, has sealed the No. 4 spot for now and is looking good to go the distance until the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh, though, will be left to rue the clash having come close to a win, but left wanting in the end. For instance, Iyer was dropped by Aminul Islam at point even before he had opened his account.
A Naim show that left India gasping
Mohammad Naim’s T20I strike rate before this game was 105. As India found out, the opener can strike it pretty clean and consistently. After a slow start, Naim took on Yuzvendra Chahal in the sixth to lend the chase some impetus. The legspinner was struck for three consecutive fours as he struggled with a wet ball. Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar too were put under pressure as he completed his half-century off 34 balls with the equation down to 101 off the last ten.
India were guilty of giving Naim a reprieve, as Chahal missed out on a run-out chance in the 12th over. Chahar got the ball from point to the bowler but Chahal failed to collect the ball and take the bails off. Naim was on 57 then and quickly raced to 70 off 39 by the time the next over was completed.
Dube does the job for Rohit
Bangladesh were cruising before Chahar removed Mithun; but the visitors also had Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah to bank on as the equation came down to 50 off 30. Rahim chopped one back on first ball, for a golden duck. Ahead of the 16th over, Rohit handed the ball to Chahal before turning to Dube. The medium-pacer delivered the perfect yorker to knock over the dangerous Naim for 81 off 48. On the next ball, he had Afif Hossain caught and bowled to end up with figures of 4-0-30-3 and Bangladesh needing 49 off 24.
The Chahar masterclass
Khaleel Ahmed started with an eight-run over but gave away just one in his second. Deepak Chahar, though, delivered the early blows scalping Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar off consecutive balls in the third over. Bangladesh managed just 18 runs in the first five overs as India made a splendid start to their defence of 175. Brought back for his second spell in the 13th over, Chahar then removed Mithun to land another timely blow as his figures after the first two overs read 2-0-3-3.
Chahar, though, was even more impressive with the older, wetter ball as he had Shafiul Islam in the 18th over and then gobbled up Mustafizur Rahman and Animul Islam in the last over to complete his hat-trick and seal the win for India.
Brief Scores: India 174/5 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 62, KL Rahul 52; Soumya Sarkar 2-29) beat Bangladesh 144 all-out in 19.2 overs (Mohammad Naim 81; Deepak Chahar 6-7, Shivam Dube 3-30) by 30 runs.
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