After the Delhi T20I, India were back to their very best, at least as far as batting was concerned, and sealed a comfortable 8-wicket victory to level the series. However, more than the result of this game, it was the way that it played out that will remain in the minds of many for quite some time.
Bangladesh started off the game just as they had ended it in Delhi - by thrashing Khaleel Ahmed. With three straight boundaries in the pacer’s first over, and a couple in the second, Mohammad Naim forced Rohit Sharma to change his plans with the run rate siding with the visitors. But some tight bowling from Washington Sundar and wickets at the other end by Yuzvendra Chahal ensured that India clawed their way back into the game. Despite some decent hitting in the death, all Bangldesh could manage was a mere 153 in the first innings.
India came out all guns blazing with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit making their intentions clear from the very first over. Even though Dhawan was not offered any room by the pacers, he ensured that he rotated the strike well enough to allow Rohit the chance to turn into “The Hitman”. After bringing up his fifty in just 23 balls, the Indian skipper continued the carnage with the highlight being hitting Mosaddek Hossain for three consecutive big ones. Despite falling short of yet another century by 15 runs, he had done enough for India to secure an eight wicket win.
Bangladesh looked like they had picked up right where they had left in Delhi. They looked comfortable on the crease and despite losing Liton Das and Naim, they looked well poised to post a competitive total with the scoreboard reading 97/2 in 12 overs. Rohit had a decision to make and he made the right one by throwing the ball to Yuzvendra Chahal. The six-run over yielded the wickets of both Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim. But that would all have been a waste had the next two overs, bowled by Shivam Dube and Krunal Pandya, been loose ones. But the duo just gave away nine runs in the next two overs, to bring India right back into the game.
Highs and Lows
If anyone wants a reason to watch T20 cricket, yes we are talking to you Mr. Holding, the match signified everything that you want in a game. With enough bloopers to fill an entire episode of any sitcom, it was absolute pandemonium in the middle. The entertainment value in this game, especially with aspects not connected to the game, was off the charts. The second innings though brought back the best of T20 cricket - Power hitting. Rohit Sharma’s innings was just what the fans pay all the big bucks for and there would have been no one in the stadium that would have felt that they did not get their money’s worth.
The game itself was a let down. After waiting for nine games and almost a decade to get their first win against the might Indians, Bangladesh just called it a day in the second T20I. The performance was as abject as one you will ever see on the international stage. That was the shame of it all. Even though they had not won a single game against the Indians till Delhi, they had prided themselves in making games tough for the hosts but today just felt as if the victory hangover was still too prevalent.
Powerplay exploitation - Bangladesh (7/10) & India (9/10)
When you go up against one of the best powerplay bowlers in world cricket you need to change your expected score in the powerplay. So a score of 54/0 at the end of the first six, when Deepak Chahar has conceded just ten runs in two overs, is a very good return. It set up the visitors for a very good score but, unfortunately for them, they failed to capitalize.
This is the Indian opening partnership that keeps new ball bowlers around the world awake at night. Rohit was at his elegant best which allowed Shikhar Dhawan to just rotate the strike and let his captain do the heavy lifting. Chasing just 154, the openers scored a massive 63 runs in the first six that set up the victory for India to level the series.
Death Bowling- India (6/10) & Bangladesh (N/A/10)
I am really torn when talking about India’s death bowling. Two of the five overs yielded just eight runs thanks to the efforts of Chahal and Chahar. But when Khaleel leaks 22 runs in his two, its is difficult to look past it. 41 runs in the last five might not sound too high by modern standards but with the kind of passive performance that Bangladesh put up, India would be a smidge miffed by it.
Bangladesh conceded just three runs in their death overs. If you haven’t seen the game, that will sound unbelievable to you. But it is absolutely true. The only problem was that three was the exact number of runs that India needed to seal the win and they did it in just four balls of the 16th over.
Ground Fielding and Catching - India (3/10) & Bangladesh (N/A/10)
Another game. Another disappointing performance in the field for the Men in Blue. With Kohli off enjoying a well deserved break, the fielders seem to be doing that as well. Three men converging on a high ball cannot end up in a drop at this level. The ground fielding was still better from the Delhi game but thanks to Pant behind the stumps, I have to deduct a couple of points there.
Since you can’t place fielders in the stands, there was nothing Bangladesh could do to stop the Indian juggernaut.
Spectator Rating Meter - Good
This match had to be T20 cricket as it would have been imagined during its conception! Random, Crazy, and most importantly, entertaining. The only reason we can’t give it a rating over “Good” is due to the fact that it was not competitive, which is a shame because this game had the chance of being one of the most memorable T20 games of all time.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi