A fiery Indian side eliminated Bangladesh, today, beating them by 9 wickets courtesy of blazing knocks by Virat Kohli (96*) and Rohit Sharma (123*) to set up an epic final against Pakistan. Earlier, the Indian bowlers had restricted Bangladesh to a modest score of 264/7 on a batting-friendly pitch.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 264/7 (Tamim Iqbal 70, Mushfiqur Rahim 61; Kedar Jadhav 2/22, Jasprit Bumrah 2/39) lost to India 265/1 (Rohit Sharma 123*, Virat Kohli 96*; Mashrafe Mortaza 1/29) by 9 wickets.
In the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy, India won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to field first owing to the emergence of sudden overcast conditions and a decent pitch to chase. Both the sides were confident of their respective teams in the previous games and remained unchanged.
Tamim and Mushfiqur revive Bangladeshi innings after a stumbling start
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on top of his game in the first over itself when he sent Soumya Sarkar packing for a duck to give India the perfect start in the semi-final. However, the incoming Sabbir Rahman coupled with the in-form Tamim Iqbal milked the Indian bowlers for 20 runs in the next two overs to get Bangladesh started in the game. The Indian bowlers then bounced back with successive tight overs that earned them the wicket of the dangerous Rahman at 19. Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal then bore the responsibility of spearheading the Bangladeshi innings and the duo did it with ease. The pair first took on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and smacked the bowler for 13 runs to end the first
Defiant Indian bowlers stage a comeback to restrict Bangladesh to 264
The Indian side looked to be struggling against Bangladesh who looked to be cruising towards a score of at least 300 and
Dhawan and Rohit continue their exploits in the tournament
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma dominated the Bangladesh bowling attack from the outset when they took Mustafizur Rahaman for a ride smacking the most successful bowler against India for 9 runs in his first over. The right hand-left hand combination zoomed India to the 50-run mark in the 8th over scoring a boundary every over. Dhawan then overtook Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Indian batsman in the Champions Trophy when he scored his 32nd run of the innings and the accelerated start resulted in India finishing the first powerplay with a score of 63 runs. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza came to his side’s rescue when he sent Dhawan back to the dressing room for a score of 46 which broke the left-hander’s streak of consecutive half-centuries in the tournament and brought the opening 87-run stand to an end. Rohit calmly brought up his third fifty of the tournament in the 16th over and continued looking solid on the crease. Indian skipper Virat Kohli then made his way out onto the crease and along with Rohit kept scoring over six runs per over to take India to a commanding 165-1 at the halfway point in the innings.
Kohli and Rohit power India into the final
Kohli and Rohit continued plundering the Bangladeshi bowlers, with runs flowing from their bats. Bangladesh tried to counter the concrete Indian batting lineup with spin but the strategy did not pay off and runs kept coming easily. Kohli then brought up his 42nd ODI fifty in the same number of deliveries in style by hitting Taskin Ahmed for a boundary. Kohli and Sharma then achieved the 100-run partnership milestone off just 89 deliveries to continue dominating the Bangladeshi bowlers. Rohit followed the suit, hammering his first ton of the tournament by hitting Mustafizur for a six and the pair brought up their 150-run partnership as they started dealing in boundaries to close in on the target. Kohli became the fastest batsman in history to reach the 8000 runs in ODIs overtaking AB de Villiers in the process when he scored the 89th run of his innings. An Indian victory was inevitable and it was just a matter of time before Rohit and Kohli relieved the Bangladeshi bowlers of their misery. Kohli sealed the game for India with a boundary with 9.5 overs to spare and will now take on arch-rivals Pakistan at the Oval in a historic final on Sunday.
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