Mushfiqur guides Bangladesh to maiden T20I win against India
- Mushfiqur, dropped in the deep on 38, made 60 not out.
- As it stands, India's combination for next year's T20 World Cup remains at an embryonic stage.
- Rajkot hosts the second Twenty20 of the three-match series on Thursday.
As if to slam home the point, captain Mahmudullah slammed a six off debutant Shivam Dube in the last over to give Bangladesh a very impressive seven-wicket win.
India got the situations they had been craving for but they did not have the personnel for it. Bangladesh bowled better, planned better and executed better and now have a 1-0 lead in the series. Comments from their skipper and batting coach in the days leading up to this game suggested India were waiting for just the sort of T20 trial that they got at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday.
First, be forced to bat first on a slowish pitch on which you would rather set a target. India have, after all, been better at chasing targets then setting them. And secondly, see if your inexperienced bowling lineup, hopefully aided by a bit of canny captaincy, could successfully defend, in the dew, a fair-to-middling total against a Bangladesh team in flux.
In the largely young team missing two senior players in Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim (60 not out of 43) and Soumya Sarkar (39 off 35) knew their presence would be of vital importance in the chase of 149, and their 60-run partnership off 55 balls gave Bangladesh a glimpse of the possibilities.
In the last five overs, with Bangladesh needing 50 with these two at the crease, it was poised either way. The lofted strokes were unfurled in a bit to get a move on. Then, with 35 needed off 19, Khaleel produced a dream slower delivery, clattering Sarkar's stumps as the batsman attempted in vain to work it to the point region. Suddenly, it seemed India were still in the game, but Mushfiqur would have none of it, and India's nerves would fail.
First, Krunal Pandya, hero with the bat in the dying moments when Indian batted, had an ordinary time in the field, dropping Mushfiqur in the 18th over at the deep mid-wicket boundary, just after the batsman had clattered Chahal for four. That over yielded 13, and then Mushfiqur sealed the deal, improvising four consecutive boundaries off Khaleel - off a short cutter, a fuller ball, a low full toss and one outside off. Mushfiqur stayed back and pulled, he scooped one fine, he drove and he even managed to edge one to the backward point fence. Bangladesh needed just four off the last over, and they got it with three balls to spare.
Before the washed-out first T20I against South Africa in Dharamshala, regular skipper Virat Kohli had harped on the importance of clipping India's long tail. Enter Krunal and Washington Sundar, who gave India's batting some impetus in the dying overs, pulverizing 30 runs off the last two, including 16 off the last, to boost the total to 148 after a sluggish start.
The Bangladesh off-spinners kept a lid on things in the middle, and the early fall of Rohit Sharma set the tone for India's innings. Shikhar Dhawan had the right ideas, bat long on this pitch, but he let the innings sag a bit with his 42-ball 41. Neither Shreyas nor Pant could carry on till the end to give the bowlers more of a defendable total, and the spin lineup lacked the killer punch.
As it stands, India's combination for next year's T20 World Cup remains at an embryonic stage.
Pakistan vs New Zealand at Hyderabad on November 25-29, 1984 (Time taken to reach milestone: 107 years 254 days)
England vs West Indies at Nottingham on May 24-25, 1995 (reserve day used. Time taken: 24 years 138 days)
India vs Bangladesh at Delhi on November 3, 2019 (Time taken: 14 years 258 days)