Bangladesh’s last wicket pair Mehidy Hasan Miraj and Mustafizur Rahaman pulled off an absolute heist with a thrilling 51 runs as India choked in the last half hour to lose a low-scoring opening ODI by one wicket at Mirpur on Sunday. As India produced another poor batting show in which they went all out for 186 in 41.2 overs, the bowlers did a great job to bring Bangladesh down to 136 for 9 in the 40th over.
However, KL Rahul, who was entrusted with the duties of fitting him and another veteran Shikhar Dhawan into the same XI, dropped an air sitter when Bangladesh needed 32 more runs.
Washington Sundar didn’t go for an easy catch at third man either, earning skipper Rohit Sharma’s ire as Miraj (38 not out 39 balls) along with Mustafizur (10 not out) took the team past the finish line in exactly 46 overs. .
The score of 51 runs between Miraj and Mustafizur was Bangladesh’s highest 10th wicket partnership and fourth highest 10th wicket partnership in a successful ODI chase.
On a course that helped sailors and spinners alike, top Indian KL Rahul (73 off 70 balls) flopped badly and was thrown out for a score of less than 200.
But the total that seemed eminently achievable at the break turned into a substantial sum thanks to the lionhearted efforts of Mohammed Siraj (32/3), Shardul Thakur (21/1) and Washington Sundar (17/2).
Debutant Kuldeep Sen’s (2/37) pace was used to hit him for three sixes – two of them on the slog, while Deepak Chahar (1/32) looked pedestrian towards the end despite a first-ball breakthrough when none squeeze the air.
In the end, Miraj ensured that the hosts suffered no setback in a match that should have been won by their bowling effort alone.
Earlier, Rahul hit 73 off 70 balls on a day when the others struggled to get going and the side was packed with all-rounders. Rahul hit five fours and four sixes.
India’s innings lasted 41.2 overs, with left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan (5/36) doing the most damage.
Mustafizur Rahman opted for the field and began proceedings with a virgin, before Indian skipper Rohit Sharma opened the visitors’ boundary count by punching Hasan Mahmud through the gap between point and cover.
Shikhar Dhawan went down and got his first boundary by sending the ball over cover.
Bangladesh skipper Litton Das made an early bowling change, putting off spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz on the attack in the fourth over, and he started cleanly before castling Dhawan for seven.
The opener went for the reverse sweep, but the ball bounced a little more than usual, hitting his wrist before hitting the stumps.
Rohit hit the first six of the series when he pulled Mahmud over a deep square leg after the average pacer left the ball floating on his pads.
The Indian skipper again found the deep square leg area, but this time for a boundary when he used the sweep shot against Miraz.
Rohit then opted for offside and cut Mahmud along the ground for a boundary after getting enough width.
It was then Virat Kohli’s turn to pick the deep square leg region as the former captain swept Miraz for a four.
Litton made another bowling change and called up the seasoned Shakib, and again was immediately rewarded thanks to a brilliant delivery from the star all-rounder.
After a start, Rohit (27 from 31 balls) went for the turn, but the ball didn’t do it, and instead went past the inside perimeter before disturbing the center and leg stumps.
There was more joy in store for the hosts as two balls later the left arm spinner sent Kohli (9) back after Litton made an incredible catch at cover after diving completely to the right, leaving Kohli stunned and the crowd at the Shere Bangla National Stadium was delighted.
Going 49 for three in the 11th, India needed a partnership. KL Rahul joined Shreyas Iyer (24) at centre, but the latter was dismissed by Ebadot Hossain (4/47), who was rewarded for bowling to a plan that works best against Iyer – short-sighted stuff.
As the small 43-run stand came to an end, Washington Sundar (19) walked in and tried to help Rahul build a partnership. However, the duo could not add more than 60 runs, as shortly after Rahul reached his half-century, Washington selected a fielder while attempting to reverse sweep against Shakib.
In the next round, Ebadot sent Shahbaz Ahmed back and Shakib then dismissed Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar to leave India staggering at 156 for eight.
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