Shubman Gill put on a stunning display of his talent as he registered his fifth ODI hundred, but Bangladesh managed an unexpected six-run win over India in an Asia Cup Super Four match in Colombo on Friday. Gill’s 121 off 133 balls was exceptional. But it wasn’t enough to take India past Bangladesh’s 265 for 8, which Shakib al Hasan (80) and Towhid Hridoy (54) built around the 1950s after being put into the bat. India were bowled out for 259. Axar Patel (42 off 34 balls) tried valiantly to bring India back into the match with some heavy blows, but the target remained just out of India’s reach.
But in the context of the tournament, the result did not matter as India had already progressed to the final. They play against Sri Lanka on Sunday. But the evening was Gill’s, despite the end result.
Gill’s percussion is all about timing and minimalism. He pulls, but not with the flair of Rohit Sharma, and he drives, but not with the flair of Virat Kohli. But Gill lends his playing his own aesthetic and grace. Taste this.
Shakib dropped one slightly short and Gill stepped out just enough to meet the ball in his court. It wasn’t the shimmy of a ballet dancer, but the precise footwork of a boxer.
There was no explosive loft over the covers that you would normally expect, but Gill capped the moment with a simple check drive that sailed a six over wide long-off.
Gill did that twice in one over against off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz – once over long-on and the second time straight over the bowler’s head.
The blow was also notable because Gill received little support from the other side.
Apart from Gill, none of the Indian batsmen seemed to participate on the night, and they started the chase on a disastrous note.
With Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya being among the five rested players, India needed heavier contributions from captain Rohit Sharma and the rest of the batters.
India also gave a break to pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
But the contributions from other batsmen never really materialized as the highest partnership in India’s innings was a 57 between Gill and KL Rahul for the third wicket.
India started the chase on a rocky note as Rohit departed in the first over and perished for Tanzim Hasan after a half-hearted, pushy drive.
Tilak Varma, who made his ODI debut in this match, shouldered his arms towards Tanzim and saw his stumps disturbed.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, who played one sweep shot too many, failed to get going against a plethora of Bangladesh spinners. Among the ruins around him, Gill struck with great composure. But his innings was destined to end up as a study material for his unique batting, and not as a catalyst for an Indian victory. He ran deep with Mahedi Hasan.
Earlier, Shakib and Hridoy took advantage of the reduced firepower in India’s bowling attack to score half-centuries. Shakib, who added 101 runs for the fifth wicket with Hridoy, made a confidence-boosting fifty for himself after struggling to make an impact with the bat recently.
The southpaw was stern on Axar, hammering two consecutive sixes off the left-arm spinner, but found only what he wanted from the young Hridoy. The Shakib-Hridoy partnership also saved Bangladesh from total disaster, appearing to have gone to 59 for 4 in the 14th over.
But they could not extend their batting as Shakib was cleared by Shardul Thakur, while Mohammed Shami accounted for Hridoy. However, Nasum Ahmed (44 off 45 balls) pushed Bangladesh past the 250-run mark while Indian bowlers lost some direction towards the business end.
India could have wrapped up Bangladesh’s innings much quicker had they retained three catches – Suryakumar, Tilak and KL Rahul were the offenders.
That laxity on the field and among the bowlers helped Bangladesh post a competitive total that proved just enough.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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