ICC T20 World Cup has been home for some great close encounters this edition. India has been part of such classics against Pakistan and South Africa. They won against Pakistan and lost to SA. Now, India played another blockbuster nail-bitter against Bangladesh. India needed to win this encounter to move forward and Adelaide Oval got ready with rain threat looming around. Bangladesh had pulled off a win, then they can get 6 points too and Bangladesh vs Pakistan would have been absolute knock-out.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field first. India started slowly against Bangladesh bowlers. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma needed to step on gas but Rohit (2) fell shortly. KL Rahul got a life and Virat Kohli joined him. Rahul started to take off and he scored 50 runs in 31 balls. He played some stunning shots and put up 67 runs partnership with Virat in 6 overs. From 11/1, India moved to 78/2 by the time KL Rahul got out. In form, Suryakumar Yadav took off straight away and scored 30 runs from 16 balls. But he got out for Shakib Al Hasan straight ball.
Hardik Pandya (5), Dinesh Karthik (7), Axar Patel (7) fell shortly unable to accelerate or rotate strike as well as Virat Kohli imagined. India needed someone from bowlers to stand up and Ravichandra Ashwin hit a 6 and a 4 in the last over taking the score post 180. Virat Kohli finished the innings scoring 64 runs off 44 balls and taking India to 184/6 in 20 overs. Taskin Ahmed (0/15) bowled well among the Bangladesh bowlers. Hasan Mahmud (3/43), Shakib Al Hasan (2/33) managed to get India batsmen out.
India bowlers started well against Najmul Hossain Shanto but Litton Das lashed out against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami. He scored 50 runs in 21 balls and due to his innings, Bangladesh scored 66/0 in 7 overs. Then rain came down at Adelaide and India team looked restless.
Bangladesh would have preferred for match to stop as they would have been declared winners according to DLS method. Post the rain break, Bangladesh needed to score 151 runs in 16 overs to win, that is, 85 runs in another 9 overs to win against India.
KL Rahul scored a great run-out and sent back Litton Das who scored 60 runs off 27 balls. Najmul Hossain Shanto (21) too fell and once he got out, Shakib Al Hasan (13), Afif Hossain (3), Yasir Ali (1), Mosaddek Hossain (6) found it difficult to score and got out. India looked like closing the match soon but Taskin Ahmed (12) and Nurul Hasan (25) found some big hits to put India under pressure.
Arshdeep Singh had to bowl the last over with 20 runs to defend and except for one length ball that flew to six, he bowled brilliantly to make sure India wins by 5 runs. Mohammed Shami (1/25), Hardik Pandya (2/28) did well along with Arshdeep Singh (2/38). The young left-arm pacer is becoming a star for India who can be a big support to Jasprit Bumrah for sure.
India, with this win become table toppers of Group 2 and even if India vs Zimbabwe gets washes out in Melbourne, India will end up with 7 points and South Africa is expected win against Pakistan, Netherlands in their next two fixtures. If the matches go on like they have been scheduled without rain interruptions, then South Africa is expected to top the group 2 with 9 points and India is likely end up with 7 or 8 points.
If they lose to Zimbabwe, by any chance, then Pakistan vs Bangladesh fixture will become a knock-out Quarter-Final, if Pakistan manages to beat South Africa. This scenario looks unlikely but by this weekend, we will get all the clarity required. ICC T20 World Cup in Australia has been alive and just become more interesting, rather than being a dead rubber.
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