Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Former skipper Mushfiqur Rahim led the charge as Bangladesh braved the toxic air of the capital and higher ranking of their rivals to script their first ever Twenty20 International win over India as they beat the hosts by three wickets here tonight to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Bangladesh won the toss and put India into bat and the hosts managed to score 148 for six, in reply the visitors overhauled the target scoring 154 for three in10.3 overs
Putting two weeks of turmoil behind them, which included players revolt over wages and ban on their sar player Shakib Al-Hasan by the ICC for not reporting an approach by bookie, and last minute dropping out of Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladeshi players regrouped splendidly to chalk out their first win against India in nine matches.
Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad hoisted debutant Shivam Dube’s over mid-wicket to record the memorable win over Rohit Sharma led side which looked tentative at the crucial stages of the match. On the other end was Rahim who played pivotal role in this historic win with unbeaten 60.
Rahim who was dropped when he was on 38, hit four consecutive boundaries in the penultimate over bowled by Khaleel Ahmed to seal the match in his team’s favour. Mahmudullah’s contribution was quick-fire 7-ball 15.
Indians were let down by poor fielding and their misery was more compounded when Krunal Pandya, dropped Mushfiqur Rahim in the 17th over bowled by Yuzvendar Chahal. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant too was guilty of profligacy. He first nudged skipper Rohit Sharma to call for a review a caught behind to dismiss Soumya Sarkar when there was no nick. Before that he didn’t call for review for lbw off Chahal.
India were very much in control till Khaleel’s over as Bangladesh needed 22 off the last 12-balls, on the back of wonderful spells by Chahal, Washington Sundar and even left-arm spinner Pandya.
Bangladesh were cruising at 54/1 with Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Naim Seikh looking very comfortable at the crease. The Indian spinners put a brake at that juncture . Chahal, got hosts back in the game as he got the better of a debutant Bangladesh opener Sheikh to stem the run flow. He was pouched by Shikhar Dhawan at long on while trying to clear the corner.
Chahal’s figures after the first two overs read 2-0-1-2. He returned for his second last spell in the 17th over when Bangladesh needed 35 off the last three overs. He had the measure of experienced Rahim, only for Pandya to spill and easy catch in the deep. The ball trickled over to a boundary. And though he conceded 13 in the over he signed off with figures of 4-0-1-24.
Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah won the toss and elected to field. His decision was vindicated by his bowlers who made full use of a slow Feroz Shah Kotla pitch to restrict India to 148/6. Afif Hosain (1/11 in 3 overs) was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers. Shafiul Islam and Aminul Islam chipped in with two wickets apiece.
In the first over itself, Shafiul Islam got one to trap Rohit Sharma (9), who was looking in good touch with two exquisite boundaries in his 99th T20I. Though Sharma reviewed the LBW decision, umpire’s decision prevailed.
Dhawan and K.L. Rahul (15) tried to rebuild the innings with a 26-run partnership but the latter soon mistimed a shot straight into the hands of Mahmudullah off Aminul Islam. Next man Shreyas Iyer, brought some much-needed momentum with a 13-ball 22, with Dhawan clearly struggling to get his shots away on the slow pitch.
The latter’s struggle ended when he was run out, responding to Rishabh’s call for a second run. Shreyas Iyer (22) and Rishabh Pant (27) got starts but got out trying to up the scoring rate Debutant Shivam Dube, too, fell to Hossain’s brilliance as he plucked a one-handed return catch. Pant, too, departed soon after, getting caught on the long-on boundary.
In the end, it was the last over heroics of Sundar and Pandya, who combined to score 28 runs off the last eight ball to guide India to a respectable total.