India vs Bangladesh: Tigers smother hosts to take series lead in Delhi

Adithya Sundar 22:48 03/11/2019
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Image - BCCI/Twitter

The pollution level in Delhi had soared over ‘severe-plus’ levels and the city was officially declared hazardous, with the air so dangerous that schools were ordered to be shut until November 5 and warnings were issued against outdoor sporting activities.

However, the first of the three T20Is was given the green light and India ended up losing their first-ever T20I match against Bangladesh, as the spirited Tigers produced a superb team performance to claim a win by seven wickets.

Opting to field, Bangladesh bowled well to restrict the hosts to 148-8. India made a slow start to the game and couldn’t improve the scoring rate substantially in the latter part of the innings. Bangladesh’s chase was spearheaded by two of their experienced batsmen, Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim, as they edged past India’s score in the final over of the game.

A slow start in the Powerplay

Rohit Sharma – appearing in his 99th T20I – was trapped LBW in the first over of the match by Shafiul Islam. The Bangladesh pace trio of Shafiul, Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman bowled tight lines to keep India to 35-1 in the first six overs. Once the field restrictions were lifted, Bangladesh effectively used three off-spinners against an Indian batting order that contained five left-handers.

Dhawan top-scored for India

Dhawan top-scored for India

While Shreyas Iyer looked to attack the bowlers, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul prodded along and scored at a-run-a-ball. The spinners got through their overs quickly and chipped away at the wickets to ensure that India gained no momentum as the death overs approached. The pair of Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya found the boundary a few times in the final two overs of the innings to prop up the total to 148-6.

Wickets in the bag keeps Bangladesh in the chase

Bangladesh too lost their opener in the first over as Liton Das lobbed a catch to Rahul at cover. Debutant Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar then kept things steady before Yuzhvendra Chahal broke the 46-run association in the 8th over.

Bangladesh’s most experienced batsman, Mushfiqur, made his way to the crease at the fall of Naim’s wicket and he orchestrated the chase to perfection. The duo batted together till the 17th over and brought the equation down to 35 runs from the final three overs.

Mushfiqur - Player of the match, Image - ICC/Twitter

Mushfiqur – Player of the match.
Image – ICC/Twitter

In the third delivery of the 18th over, Krunal Pandya crucially dropped a sitter at the square leg to hand Mushfiqur a reprieve and potentially Bangladesh the game. The wicketkeeper-batsman went after Khaleel Ahmed in the penultimate over of the match, scoring four consecutive boundaries to bring his team to the cusp of victory. With only four needed off the final over, skipper Mahmudullah sealed the victory in style, with a six over midwicket.

India’s Fielding and DRS Woes

The home team’s fielding was below par as they conceded runs through misfields, over throws and put down an important catch at a crucial juncture. They failed to review an LBW decision against Mushfiqur when he was batting on seven. It would’ve been overturned had they gone to the third umpire. They instead wasted their review by appealing for a caught behind when there was no bat involved.

Bangladesh, despite missing two of their best players, effectively blunted India’s batting by constantly rotating bowlers as Mahmudullah employed as many as eight bowlers.  They were sharp in the field as well, the acrobatic return catch snaffled by Afif Hossain to dismiss Shivam Dube being a prime example.

India were completely outplayed at Delhi and will need to bounce back at Rajkot on Thursday to level the series.

Brief Scores:

India 148/6 (Dhawan 41; Aminul Islam 2-22)
Bangladesh 154/3 in 19.3 (Mushfiqur 60*, Soumya Sarkar 39)

Player of the match : Mushfiqur Rahim

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