Bangladesh come out clear winners in hazy New Delhi
India skipper Rohit Sharma on the eve of the first T20I had suggested that they wanted to defend totals to cover that loophole but not at the cost of losing a game. On Sunday, after losing the toss to Mahmadullah Riyad, he had no choice but to bat against Bangladesh and even failed to defend the 148 runs that his team posted.
Before the game Mahmadullah's men had to tackle Delhi's hazardous pollution and the controversy about Shakib Al Hasan's ban but the experience of Soumya Sarkar, wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and the skipper himself helped them get the job done with seven wickets and three balls to spare.
Rahim, who scored an unbeaten 60, was dropped on 37 on the boundary by Krunal Pandya and that proved to be a turning point in the game.
Bangladesh, like India, began on a poor note with the bat, losing opener Liton Das in the innings' first over by Deepak Chahar. Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar added 46 runs for the second wicket before Naim was dismissed by Yuzuvendra Chahal in the eighth over. It was after this that Sarkar and Rahim got things under control. After Sarkar was dismissed in the 17th over, Rahim along with Mahmudullah didn't panic.
For India, handy cameos from Pandya and Washington Sundar saw them post a competitive total on a track that was slow, but from a distance deceived to look like a batsman's friend.
The Indian skipper began well by hitting two boundaries in the first over but was trapped leg-before by Shafiul Islam on the last delivery. KL Rahul, who as the new No. 3 in Virat Kohli's absence had shown some good batting form in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, joined Shikhar Dhawan. The two found it tough to construct a partnership on a pitch where timing the ball wasn't easy.
India were 35 runs at the end of the powerplay and though Rahul, till then had hit a couple of nice shots, he failed to adjust to the slowness of the track and lobbed an easy catch off leg-spinner Aminul Islam.
Delhi Darevdevils skipper Shreyas Iyer, who must have seen the proceedings from the dugout and knows the Kotla track, took just two balls to adjust to the pace and began attacking and hit Aminul for a six. Iyer's intention to dominate became stronger as he hit Aminul for a another six to Aminul in the next over but the leg-spinner won the battle in his third over, tempting middle-order batsman attempted one shot too many. Bangladesh offies Afif Hossain and Mossadak Hossain then tightened the screws. This led to a dicey call for a non-existent second run between Pant and Dhawan and the latter was run out.
Debutant Shivam Dube was hailed by some as the next Yuvraj Singh but the Mumbai man couldn't display those skills and made just one run before he was caught by Afif off his own bowling.
India 148-6 in 20 overs (S Dhawan 41, R Pant 27; A Islam 2-22, S Islam 2-36) lost to Bangladesh 154-3 in 19.3 overs (M Rahim 60*, S Sarkar 39) by 7 wickets
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