Dhoni and Kohli deny courageous Bangladesh

Dhoni and Kohli deny courageous Bangladesh

India 297/4 [Dhoni 101*, Kohli 91, Raina 51 *] beat Bangladesh 296/6 [Imrul Kayes 70, Tamim Iqubal 60, Mahamudullah Riad 60*, Rakibul 32, Ashraful 29, Yuvaraj 1/33, Nehra 1/44, Jadeja 1/45, Sreesanth 1/54, Harbhajan 1/56] by 6 wickets.

Determined Dhoni and Brilliant Kohli beautifully batted India to an easy earned 6 wickets victory against strong challenge of Bangladesh in the third last over of the match.

Bangladesh won the toss and ignoring dew threat elected to bat. Bangladesh finally scored 296/6 in 50 overs. When India replied Tigers could initially shake strong Indian batting removing dangerous Shewag, Gambhir and Yuvaraj within 51. But excellent 152 run third wicket partnership between young Kohli and Captain Dhoni steered India out of troubled water. Kohli missed his century getting out to Shakib at 91. Shakib dropped Dhoni of his own bowling at his score of 62. Dhoni went on to score unbeaten 101. India finally won it easy by 6 wickets with 15 balls to spare. There is no problem in loosing after fight. Bangladesh did its best. But the best was not enough to earn a win against the best batting line up of the world cricket. Bangladesh does not have good pace attack to trouble quality batting. On a wicket where Indian bowling struggled Bangladesh was not expected to win against India. The fact that they could rattle India must be considered as an achievement. Bangladesh can carry lot of positive from the match.

Shakib is leading a new generation of fearless Bengal Tigers. They care little about reputation or class of opposition. ICC 2nd ODI ranked Indians were chasing leather after Shakib won the toss and ignoring threat of dew opted to bat. The team responded positively right from the start. Brilliant Tamim and Kayes put on 80 at first wicket in 10 overs. Tamim left scoring 60 in 42 deliveries but Kayes stayed on to top score 70. A mini middle order slide somehow impeded the floodgate a little bit. But steady Rakibul and Mahmudullah Riad rallied bravely to take Bangladesh to 296/6, the highest Bangladesh score in ODI eclipsing 285 against Pakistan in Lahore. 7th Wicket pair of Riad and Naeem in power play overs scored 54 in the last 5 overs. Riad remained not out 60.

Bangladesh remained very focused right from the word go. Tamim Iqbal was brilliant with his stroke play. He is very strong off his pad and loves to play delicate glance and flick off his toes. Zaheer and Nehra initially and Sreesanth feed Tamim strokes bowling on his legs and bringing third man inside. By the time they realised it Tamim already raced to his delightful 50. Indian seamers got no movement off the seam or in the air. Imrul Kayes on the other end looked very correct and solid. Bangladesh scored 50 in 7.4 overs. Tamim scored his own 50 in 33 balls with 8 fours and a six. Sreesanth got him out on the 11th over at 60. By that time Bangladesh got a solid foundation of 80 in 11 overs. Ashraful joined Kayes. Now well set Kayes took leading role. He started playing strokes and Ashrfaul took the anchors role. Second wicket partnership started smartly rotating strikes with occasional hits to the fence. 68 steady runs were added in 12 overs before Ashraful fell to spin of Jadeja clean bowled on 29. Captain Shakib was unfortunately run out by a direct throw of Zaheer Khan before he could open his account. Bangladesh innings lost momentum a bit loosing two of their main batsmen in short space. Kayes and Rakibul had to carefully rebuild the momentum. Kayes started playing fluently after getting his first 50 in 80 deliveris. Desperate Dhoni brought back Nehra in the attack. Kayes got out to Nehra at 70 at team score of 188. Wicket keeper Musfiqur Rahim is usually a very mobile late middle order batsman. Unlike other days he fell cheaply scoring only 6. Mahmudullah and Rakib had to rebuild again. But a flowery innings of Rakibul was terminated at 32 by Harbhajan at team score of 238 in 44.2 overs. In the remaining time Mahamuddullah and Naeem added 58 valuable runs in the unbroken 7th wicket exploiting Indians weak bowling in the death over. Bangladesh scored 296/6 their highest score against any test playing opponent. Bangladesh earlier scored 285 against Pakistan at Lahore. Riad remained not out at 60 and Naeem at 14.

Indian bowling appeared very ordinary. The wicket is flat. But the team which is endeavoring to remain on top need to know to adjust to all playing surface. Neither the seamers nor the spinners looked like running through determined Bangladesh batting. India with this attack in World Cup 2011 will suffer despite having very strong batting line up.

India tried to start very strongly. Gambhir and Sehwag are possibly the best opening partners in world cricket. Bangladesh started with Syed Russell and Abdur Razzak. Bangladesh got a lucky break as dangerous Sehwag ran himself out scoring 13 at score of 28 in the 4th over. Sehwag tried to steal a single of a Razzak misfield of his own bowling. Razzak quickly recovered and hit stumps with Sehwag short of the ground. Rubel and Syed Russel cleaned up Gambhir and Yuvaraj with lovely deliveries. Bangladesh could have kept up the pressure if it had a quality third seamer. Indians are the best players of spin. Kohli and Dhoni played in very easily and then rallied to knock off the runs quite easily. Razzak bowled very poorly. Riad and Naeem are no threat to Indian batting. Shakib bowled well. He dropped Dhoni of his own bowling- a low catch. If he could pick that this could have created interesting situation. Kohli batted wonderfully well. But he developed a cramp at the last stage. He was a bit handicapped and got out caught and bowled to Shakib scoring 91 lovely runs. Dhoni led his team to the sweet victory which at one stage they were about to mess up.

Suresh Raina joined his captain and the unbeaten 5th wicket partnership produced 96 runs in 12 overs. Dhoni scored yet another match winning century and Raina remained unbeaten on 51.

Bangladeshi pace bowling is just not good enough to win matches against major opposition. For Indians spin attack and Bangladeshi pace attack are like friendly fires. Until Bangladesh finds a couple of good new ball bowlers like Mashrafe it will be extremely difficult by batting strength alone.

But anyway Bangladesh batted extremely well and fought with limited bowling resources against formidable Indian batting.

© 2008-2009 crickettomorrow.com/SS/060110

Saleque Sufi | link requested by Danny | original source

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