Thursday, June 15, 2017

ICC Champions Trophy 2017 : India vs Bangladesh

Under overcast conditions at Edgbaston, Birmingham, the 2nd semifinals between neighbouring countries India & Bangladesh got underway. Kohli won the toss & put Bangladesh into bat, obviously influenced by the fact, that chasing has been relatively under control in this tournament, as well as advantage under D/L scenarios. However, clouds, though threatening, & rains coming in brief, light showers, the game went on without any interruptions. The crowd had their monies worth, as both teams gave in their best, though India on this day was a couple of notches ahead.

Bangladesh started in earnest, knowing that the only way out is to play fearless. Though Bhuvi bowled out Soumya Sarkar in the first over itself, Tamim & next man in Sabbir kept hitting against the line to get crucial boundaries. Bhuvi again got Sabbir caught sharply by Jadeja at point, with score reading 31 for 2 in the 7th over. Next in Mushfiqur along with Tamim then got on to build the innings with a hundred run partnership, taking the score to 154. Both looked well set & threatening to run ragged the Indian bowling & build a huge total, when Tamim missed a straight ball from makeshift bowler Kedar Jadhav to be bowled out in the 28th over. Tamim, who survived being bowled out on a no ball, scored 70 runs, while Mushfiqur got a useful 61 runs. India was back in the game & got three quick wickets, as Bangladesh went past 200 runs in the 40th over. But Bangladesh prospered, as India again let them off the hook after claiming the big wickets. Capt Mashrafe Murtaza along with Taskin Ahmed, added 35 valuable runs for the undefeated 8th wicket in the final 5 overs, as Bangladesh got themselves a credible 264 runs for 7 wickets at the end of 50 overs. They had looked good to go past 300 runs at one stage & then slipped to get contained to 250, but again managed to add vital runs in the slog overs.
Indian fielding was rather scratchy, with occasional slip ups, & that costed them a good 15 - 20 extra runs. However, at this stage, it still looks India's game to chase successfully.

Indian openers, Rohit & Shikhar started the run chase after the lemon break. With no demons in the pitch, & no pressures of a high total, both batsmen eased into the scoring. While Rohit was sedate, & silky in his drives & pulls, treating the crowd with his lazy elegance, in form Shikhar was severe on anything pitched up as the runs came at a fast clip. Some of the shots played were simply breathtaking, as 10 overs of power plays produced 63 runs, with Bangladesh bowlers creating no impact at all.
Shikhar was more adventurous & paid the price by giving away his wicket for just 46 runs, with the team score at 87, in the 15th over, when he was looking good for much more. However, for the records, he went past Saurav Ganguly to become the highest scorer for India in the Champions Trophy & also the leading score in this edition of the tournament.
Next in Capt Virat, got into the groove almost immediately & along with Rohit eventually took India home to an easy victory. It was a solid partnership of 178 runs in just a little over 25 overs, as India achieved the target with almost 10 overs to spare. The batting looked unhurried, compact & in total control.
Rohit completed his 10th century, while Virat remained unbeaten at 96, hitting the winning boundary. He also crossed 8000 runs in ODI, in just 175 innings, becoming the fastest player to achieve that mark. He went past Saurav Ganguly as the fastest Indian & past AB deVilliers as the fastest in the world. He displayed true professionalism in concentrating on team victory than getting his hundred - truly phenomenal.
Rohit Sharma was adjusted the Man of Match for his unbeaten 123 runs.
It was a clinical finish, outclassing Bangladesh in all counts. India looks in good nick to enter the finals where they meet the arch rivals Pakistan. - its expected to be a cracker of a game on Sunday