Rohit Sharma has mastered the art of knocking Bangladesh out at a crucial stage in a major ICC tournament. In the 2015 quarterfinal, his century gave India a big win in Melbourne while in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, he blasted another ton in Edgbaston to dash Bangladesh’s hopes. In the 2019 World Cup and at the same venue, Rohit notched up his 26th ton overall and fourth in the tournament and despite some spirited resistance from Shakib Al Hasan and the lower-middle order, Jasprit Bumrah's brilliant haul of 4/55 helped India knock Bangladesh out of the reckoning for the last four and sealed their spot in the knock-out stage with a 28-win on Tuesday.
‘Catches win matches’ is an old adage in cricket which has been proven time and time again. Herschelle Gibbs had ‘dropped’ the World Cup when he spilt Steve Waugh in Leeds in 1999. In 2019, Bangladesh’s semi-final hopes were dropped by Tamim Iqbal when he grassed Rohit’s mistimed pull shot on 9 in the fifth over. Rohit made them pay and once again, Bangladesh’s hopes of repeating their 2015 feat ended in despair.
Bangladesh would have given themselves a good chance of pulling off an upset after restricting India to 314/9 thanks to some magnificent bowling from Mustafizur Rahman. Tamim Iqbal started positively with two fours off Jasprit Bumrah while Soumya Sarkar gave him good company. However, Mohammed Shami continued his wicket-taking spree when Tamim dragged a shortish ball back onto the stumps for 22. However, Shakib Al Hasan, who has been in prime form throughout the tournament, showcased his class yet again.
There was a moment of controversy when a DRS call went against Soumya Sarkar and India lost a review when there was no bat involved. Kohli had a furious showdown with the umpire and Sarkar responded with two fours off Shami. However, Hardik Pandya ensured that Sarkar would not punish India too much when he drove straight to Kohli at extra cover.
Shakib was given good company by Mushfiqur Rahim and the wicketkeeper responded with two fours off Chahal while Bangladesh’s star all-rounder kept the scoreboard ticking. Yuzvendra Chahal got Rahim when the batsman swept straight to midwicket. Shakib smashed his 46th fifty and in the process, he became the first player in World Cup history to take more than 10 wickets and score 500 runs in a single edition of the tournament. Liton Das signalled his intentions with a six off Pandya but the bowler had the last laugh when Liton top-edged the pull shot to midwicket.
Bumrah got rid of Mosaddek but Pandya once again dealt the killer blow to Bangladesh when Shakib mistimed the drive to extra cover. Sabbir Rahman and Saifuddin kept the fight alive and both batsmen smashed a couple of boundaries each of Shami as the bowler leaked 17 runs. Sabbir and Saifuddin regularly found the boundary but once Bumrah removed Sabbir, the game was up. Despite some lusty blows from Saifuddin who blasted his second fifty, India held their nerve and sealed the spot in the semi-final.
Earlier, India chose to bat on the same pitch which hosted the clash against England on June 28 and they were given a brilliant start by Rohit and KL Rahul. While Rahul dropped anchor, Rohit played the aggressor perfectly. Rohit started off perfectly with a six off Mortaza and Saifuddin. After getting a life on 9, Rohit hit Mustafizur for two boundaries and the partnership neared 100. Rahul notched up his second fifty of the tournament as both batsmen raised the ante.
Rohit neared his century but he could not carry on as Soumya Sarkar got his wicket while Rahul fell to Rubel for 77. Virat Kohli looked in good touch but his run of five consecutive fifty-plus scores ended when he pulled Mustafizur straight to Rubel. Rishabh Pant smashed some big hits but Bangladesh fought back with wickets, with Hardik Pandya departing for a duck.
Pant smashed three boundaries off Saifuddin while MS Dhoni also got going in style. However, Mustafizur picked up yet another five-wicket haul against India and Kohli’s side could manage just 63 runs in the last 10 overs. In the end, Rohit’s start was the key and India sealed their spot in the last four. For Bangladesh, their saga of pain against India in World Cups continue.