Magical Mustafizur wrecks India again as Bangladesh eke out historic series win
MIRPUR: Surprises and shocks were dished out in equal measure on Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium where Bangladesh recorded a historic ODI series win over India. On a day when Indian cricket sunk to a new low and Bangladesh cricket came of age, Mashrafe Mortaza’s youthful brigade hammered out a six-wicket win in the second ODI to eke out an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The victory, Bangladesh’s 10th on the trot at home, also clinched a Champions Trophy (2017) berth for the hosts. It was Bangladesh’s maiden ODI series win over India and the way the players and the crowd celebrated made it clear how precious the triumph was for them.
Like in the first ODI, Bangladesh were always on top on Sunday against a panic-stricken India which made as many as three changes to the side that went down by 79 runs on Thursday. And the manner in which they batted made it clear that lessons from the previous match had not been learnt. Batsman after batsman made the same mistake and, once again, fell victim to the hero of the first match – Mustafizur Rahman.
The wiry left-arm pacer, who had destroyed India on Thursday with a five-wicket haul (5-50), went one better on Sunday, returning figures of 6-43 to set up another fabulous Bangladesh win.
Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, India were bowled out for 200 in 45 overs after a two-hour stoppage due to rain towards the end of their innings reduced the match to 47 overs per side.
Set a revised target of 200 in 47 overs (under D/L method), Bangladesh batted sensibly with the experienced Shakib Al Hasan taking the team home. It was Sabbir Rahman (22) who hit the winning run after Soumya Sarkar (34), Litton Das (36) and Mushfiqur Rahim (31) had all played their part.
Indian bowling was as limp as their batting as Bangladesh raised victory in only 38 overs with six wickets and nine overs to spare.
Earlier, Dhoni surprised all by including Axar Patel and Dhawal Kulkarni in place Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav and by dropping Ajinkya Rahane for Ambati Rayudu. The under-pressure captain, who sprung another surprise by batting at No. 4 after Virat Kohli once again failed to convert a promising start into a big score, batted with confidence. But the Indian batsmen simply didn’t know how to deal with Mustafizur’s slow but vicious off-cutters. Mustafizur started it all by scalping Rohit Sharma with the second ball of the day.
Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli batted with assurance to add 74 runs for the second wicket before the latter lost his concentration and missed the line of an innocuous one from Nasir. Two soft dismissals in a row signaled danger for India, but with Dhoni hitting the ball and running hard and Dhawan discreet in his shot-selection, the third wicket partnership looked like giving Indian innings some heft.
However, Dhawan went for 53 and while Suresh Raina helped Dhoni add 53 for the fifth wicket, Mustafizur returned to wreak havoc. He dismissed both Raina and Dhoni in quick succession to put the shackles on the Indian essay.