Champions Trophy 2017 | India thrash Bangladesh to set up historic final against Pakistan

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Champions Trophy 2017 | India thrash Bangladesh to set up historic final against Pakistan

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SportsCafe Desk


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 powerplay with 47 runs on the board. Hardik Pandya was the duo’s next target who was battered for 13 runs in his first over. The Bangladeshi pair then kept scoring at a brisk pace to reach the 100-run mark in the 19th over while Tamim brought up his third half-century of the tournament. The Bangladeshi left-hander then broke loose and smacked Ravichandran Ashwin for three consecutive boundaries in the 22nd over which eventually helped the duo bring up their 100-run stand and reach a score of 142-2 at the midway mark of the innings.

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 were desperate for a breakthrough. However, Rahim and Tamim continued exploiting the batting-friendly pitch to keep the scoreboard ticking and Rahim followed his compatriot footsteps when he reached the 50-runs milestone. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, then, brought on Kedar Jadhav to bowl for the first time in the tournament - a move that took everyone by surprise but paid off instantly when Jadhav bowled out Tamim to break a 123-run stand. The wicket slowed down the Bangladesh innings and pressure started piling up on the Tigers. Ravindra Jadeja saw his name go up on the scoreboard when he dismissed an in-form Shakib Al Hasan, who had scored a century in his last match, cheaply for 15. Jadhav then struck once again, in the following over, to send a set Rahim packing, shifting the momentum of the game in India’s favour. A spell of quiet overs followed the wicket and Jasprit Bumrah once again showcased his death bowling skills when he scalped the dangerous Mahmudullah in the 45th over to add further pressure on Bangladesh. Mashrafe Mortaza played a 25-ball 30 cameo to take his side to a sub-par score of 264.

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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