Shikhar Dhawan’s superb form continued as he scored a solid 55 runs off 43 balls to steer India to its maiden victory of the series against Bangladesh in the ongoing Nidahas tri-series.
India were given a paltry target of 140 by Bangladesh after some good bowling by the Men in Blues on a slow Premadasa track.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar’s (2/32 in 4 overs) disciplined wicket-to-wicket bowling was extremely handy after three catches were dropped during his spell. Rajasthan Royals ace Jaydev Unadkat (3/38) had most number of wickets but he was flat throughout spell and showed some inconsistent length bowling.
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Captain Rohit once again decided to go with off-spinner MS Washington Sundar (0/23 in 4 overs) for the opening spell and the move proved to be an excellent one as the normally dangerous Tamim Iqbal (15, 16 balls) found it difficult to free his arm in the Powerplay overs. His opening partner Soumya Sarkar (14 runs in12 balls) became the victim of when he was caught off at short fine-leg after some clever piece of captaincy.
Yuzvendra Chahal (1/19 in 4 overs) came back strong after a disappointing opening game against the host Sri Lanka and kept it tight. Shankar, playing his second international game, impressed every one by showing his consistency by bowling at right length throughout his spell. The lack of pace was covered up by his ability to hit the correct spot time and time again.
The batsman in the limelight was Shabbir Rahaman (30 runs, 26 balls), whose power hitting towards the end gave Bangaldesh’s total, a hint of respect.
Chasing a low target 140, India made merry with Dhawan’s 55 off 43 took them home in mere 18.4 overs. After a tough and dissapointing Test series in South Africa, the Delhi left-hander found his swagger back at the start of limited overs cricket in South Africa and has continued his solid form since then.
STAT ATTACK: 55, 90, 47, 24, 72 - runs made by Dhawan in his last five T20s.
Veteran Suresh Raina added a handy 28 runs off 27 balls. With Dhawan hitting the ball smoothly, Raina played freely at the other end, taking the singles and hitting the odd boundary.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (17 runs) departed early after smashing a couple of boundaries as his bad patch of form continued. Rishabh Pant (7) also failed to impress once again after returning back to the pavilion pretty quickly.
Manish Pandey and the newly named Kolkata Knight Rider’s captain Dinesh Karthik steered India to the victory spot in the 19th over.
Showstoppers India get off the mark, having now beaten Bangladesh in six out of the six Twenty20 Internationals they have come up against. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lock horns on Saturday at the Premadasa.