India returned to winning ways as a 28-run victory over Bangladesh confirmed their place in the World Cup semi-finals and eliminated their Asian neighbours.
Rohit Sharma took centre stage again as he became only the second player in World Cup history to score four hundreds in the same tournament.
His opening partnership of 180 with KL Rahul – the highest at this World Cup – laid the base for India to exorcise the demons of defeat to England at the same Edgbaston ground less than 48 hours earlier.
If that first tournament loss had knocked India’s self-belief, it did not show before two raucous sets of supporters.
But India were still relieved after a helping hand from Tamim Iqbal, who dropped Rohit on nine, and their own tardiness towards the end of an innings when 237 for two in the 38th over was only turned in to 314 for nine.
In that part of the game, Bangladesh fought like the Tigers they are known as to give themselves a chance of replicating the sort of spectacular run chase that had accounted for the West Indies at Taunton.
Mustafizur Rahman finished with five for 59 and Shakib Al Hasan passed 50 for the sixth time in seven innings – a World Cup record only previously achieved by Indian great Sachin Tendulkar.
But India will consider themselves to be firmly back on track even if skipper Virat Kohli, for once, made a modest contribution of 26.
Rohit, as he has done previously in this competition, made the most of some good fortune.
The opener had only scored four against England when he was spilled by Joe Root in the slips and went on to make 102.
This time Mustafizur was flicked to the mid-wicket boundary where Tamim had made good ground, but shelled the opportunity.
Shakib’s spin managed to apply some control for Bangladesh, but it was to prove a costly error as Rohit bludgeoned his way to become the tournament’s top run scorer with 104 from 92 balls.
Rahul’s own 92-ball stay ended when he attempted to cut a delivery from Rubel Hossain that was too close to him and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim took a low catch.
Kohli pulled Mustafizur to the waiting Rubel on the mid-wicket rope and the hard-hitting Hardik Pandya fell for nought two balls later.
Rishabh Pant (48) and MS Dhoni (35) scored at over a run a ball but the loss of three wickets in the final over summed up an innings that had promised a lot more.
Bangladesh had scored 322 to beat the West Indies, the second highest successful chase in World Cup history, but lost Tamim (22) when he played on to Mohammad Shami.
Soumya Sarkar survived a DRS review on 21 after being struck on the pads by Shami, an incident which enraged India captain Kohli.
The official view was that it had struck the bat first so India lost their review, much to the obvious displeasure of Kohli who remained in deep conversation with the umpires for some time.
But Kohli had the last laugh when Soumya (33) welcomed Pandya’s arrival into the attack by smashing a wide ball straight to him in the covers – one of the bowler’s three victims.
An emotional Kohli appeared to say ‘That’s out’ to Soumya and India’s resentment over the review incident continued to simmer.
Yuzvendra Chahal waved Mushfiqur off the field after he hit the leg-spinner straight to Shami at mid-wicket.
The departures of Liton Das and Shakib in swift succession seemed to end the Bangladesh story.
But Mohammad Saifuddin (51 not out) and Sabbir Rahman (36) produced the first half-century partnership of the innings with 66 in nine overs.
India briefly lost Jasprit Bumrah to a shoulder injury as the paceman took a heavy fall when attempting to save runs on the boundary.
But he returned to the attack to wrap up victory, perfect yorkers to Rubel and Mustafizur dismissing Bangladesh for 286 with 12 balls remaining.
It gave Bumrah figures of 4-55 and confirmed India’s place alongside Australia in the semi-finals, with England, Pakistan and New Zealand battling for the two remaining places.
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Rohit Sharma spanked his fourth century of the 2019 World Cup as his 104 off 92 balls helped India post a challenging 314-9 against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday.
The opening batsman is in the form of his life at this World Cup, making the most of yet another early dropped chance to reach three figures, even as skipper Virat Kohli has gone about his job more efficiently – hitting five successive fifties in the tournament.
While the focus has generally been on Kohli when it comes to India’s batting, Rohit has been as good as the skipper at the top of the order.
Since the start of 2017 Rohit has 16 centuries while Virat has 15. Someone has actually outscored Virat. Rarely you get two outstanding batsmen at their peak in the same team. The next best is 8!! Truly amazing !! #WC19— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) July 2, 2019
Not only is Rohit now the leading run-getter in the ongoing edition with 544 runs in seven outings, his numbers compare favourably to that of Kohli.
In the last years, Kohli has the most runs in ODIs – 5,617 in 100 innings at an average of a shade under 70. Kohli has cracked 22 centuries in the process, the most in the world.
Right next to him is Rohit with 5,127 runs from 90 innings at an average of 64.8. He too has 22 centuries under his belt.
While Kohli has rightfully earned the crown of the king of ODI cricket, Rohit is not too far behind. And moreover, Rohit has what Kohli doesn’t – three ODI double tons.
The next best when it comes to centurions in the last five years is Hashim Amla with 15 tons, followed by Joe Root on 15 and David Warner on 14.
England take on New Zealand with a World Cup semi-final place up for grabs but Eoin Morgan’s motivation goes all the way back to 2015 and a “rock bottom” defeat in Wellington.
The Black Caps dealt out a brutal beating in the previous edition of the tournament, skittling England for 123 then reeling off the runs in a humiliating 12.2 overs.
The experience seared itself on the mind of Morgan, whose rookie captaincy might have ended in the aftermath of their dismal group-stage exit, but instead he used it as the catalyst for his team’s rise to prominence.
Morgan and company go into Wednesday’s game at Chester-le-Street knowing victory would guarantee them a place in the semi-finals, with defeat leaving them in danger of another gut-wrenching exit.
Reflecting on the chastening experience four years ago, the England skipper said: “It was as close to rock-bottom as I’ve been. Certainly as a captain and as a player.
“Being beaten off the park like that was humiliating. New Zealand proved a point that you can actually be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.
“I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup.”
It certainly had the effect on England, who picked pieces from that blueprint and set them off on a journey that would take them from also-rans in 50-over cricket to number one in the world.
They surrendered that hard-won honour after back-to-back defeats but are back on track after beating India, the side who replaced them at the summit, by 31 runs last time out.
Opening batsman Jason Roy helped pave the way for that result, making 66 on his return after three games out with a torn hamstring. Morgan admitted prior to that match that it was a risk to recall the Surrey man at Edgbaston but appeared more confident this time.
“He’s good, he’s going to be fit for tomorrow’s game,” said the Dubliner.
“He’s in fantastic form, him and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order. In the India game it really did set the tone for our innings on a wicket we feel wasn’t that good to bat on.”
There was an equally optimistic outlook on Jofra Archer, the side’s leading wicket-taker who has been managing a left side problem for several games now.
“He’s pulled up really well and should be fit to play,” said Morgan.
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