Sports

Mehidy the hero as Bangladesh script thrilling win

bangladesh 187 for 9 (Litton 41, Mehidy 38*, Siraj 3-32, Washington 2-17, Sen 2-37) India 186 (Rahul 73, Shakib 5-36, Ebadot 4-47) by one wicket

An astonishing unbroken last wicket stand of 51 between Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman snatched victory from India in a low-scoring potboiler of endless plot twists at Shere Bangla National Stadium to give Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

Bangladesh dominated large parts of the game. They bundled India for 186 on a tricky pitch thanks to Shakib Al Hasan’s trickery and Ebadot Hossain’s short ball, which had taken nine wickets between them after Litton Das opted to bowl on a pitch he said would be “a bit tacky”. The stickiness continued throughout the chase, but Bangladesh were well on track in the 35th over, needing 59 off 91 balls with six wickets in hand, and with Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah in the fold.

Bangladesh dominated up to that point but they had no business winning the match after Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and the debutant Kuldeep Sen ran a combined 128 for 4 to 136 for 9 in the span of 26 balls.

But Mehidy, their last recognized hitter, was still in the fold, and Mustafizur, their number 11, showed he is a vastly improved presence in the lower order.

It was Mustafizur who kick-started the partnership and hit Bangladesh’s first boundary in 105 balls with a punch through Siraj’s covers. Mehidy then largely worked the attack and went after the borders with nothing to lose. He cut behind the point, scooped to a fine leg, punched and pulled; and as the target approached, India’s fieldwork fell apart.

KL Rahul – wicketkeeper in the absence of Rishabh Pant – ran all the way to a deep back square leg and set a hook with the top edge; Washington Sundar lost sight of a misplaced uppercut on the deep third run and saw the ball fall harmlessly to the floor; Deepak Chahar fumbled a pitch and gave up a second that allowed Mehidy to strike again; Washington let the ball slip past him and the square leg boundary in a failed attempt at a sliding stop.

By the time India had Mustafizur on strike for the first ball of an over, Bangladesh needed just 14, and Thakur couldn’t move him, conceding a deftly tickled boundary to the fine leg.

A sharp cut from Mehidy on the first ball of the next over, the 46th, cut it to four required runs, but there was still time left for the nerves. The third umpire was called to judge a direct hit by Rohit Sharma at midwicket as the batters tried to sneak a tight single, and NOT OUT appeared on the big screen to blow the roof off the stadium and tie the scores. Chahar now circled all of his fielders, but Mehidy still saw a gap and drove over cover point to seal a highly unlikely victory.

If that final wicket score – coming at nearly eight runs and over – was an outlier in a match where runs came just under 4.3 while 19 wickets fell in 87.2 overs, there was another one earlier in the day – Rahul’s 73 of 70 balls.

It was an innings defying conditions as this delivery was difficult in multiple ways, with the spinners enjoying natural variety and the fast bowlers getting an inconsistent bounce.

The help for the spinners was evident as early as the fourth over, as Mehidy ripped his first ball past Shikhar Dhawan’s perimeter before sending it away in his next over with a ball that went through the corner to beat the reverse sweep and hit the to ricochet stumps. of chest and glove.

Shakib came on as soon as the first power play ended and struck with his second ball. He delivered it with plenty of undercut to try and exploit the inconsistent turn, and Rohit, playing for turn, was bowled between bat and pad. Until then, India’s captain had looked fluid, taking 27 on almost a run a ball with four fours – including two superb backfoot punches – and a drawn six.

Two balls after sending off Rohit, Shakib got his second, slowing his pace to set up an upward drive from Virat Kohli, but the ball went clean off the center of the bat and would have run for four if Litton had gone from full length to his right on short extra cover, not plucked from the air with one hand.

From 49 to 3, India bounced back through two partnerships breaking down just as they promised to grow to substantial proportions. Shreyas Iyer made 24 and looked to continue the form he showed on the New Zealand tour, but fell on the short ball; Ebadot gained extra bounce to produce the top edge as the batter appeared to be dragging an outside pull off the stump.

Washington was then part of a fifth wicket stand of 60 off 75 balls, but most of the runs came from Rahul’s end. When Washington tried to break free – he faced 43 balls and hit no boundary – he swept Shakib back, straight to the back.

India played four all-rounders, including Washington, which gave them plenty of depth, but it turned out that numbers 7, 8 and 9 had only 10 balls between them. Shakib caught Shahbaz Ahmed in cover, at Ebadot, and dismissed the other two, and those two wickets showed how difficult it was to meet him on this pitch.

Both balls were thrown in about the same area, at a good length and close to the stump with some initial in-drift, and Thakur and Chahar offered roughly similar defensive responses, only for the former to be bowled beyond the perimeter and the latter being lbw, struck on the inner edge.

All the while, Rahul had looked considerably safer than any of his teammates, giving Bangladesh’s bowlers little room for error with their lengths, swiping productively against the spinners and pounced on the pull and cut when the quicks had dropped marginally. short.

With India eight down, he played the shot of his innings, extending his follow-through slightly on a drive to elevate Ebadot halfway and on the boundary pads. Two balls later, Rahul stepped across to help the ball to the fine leg boundary. India were now in their 170s and still only in the 40th of their innings.

However, their hopes of going past 200 crashed in the same over, when Ebadot pounded the field with another short ball; Rahul took the pull, but the ball got too big for him, and that was that. Ebadot ended the innings in his next over, another short ball completing a first four-wicket haul in just his second ODI.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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