By BV Swagath
Virat Kohli slammed his 19th ODI ton and Ajinkya Rahane provided him fantastic support to help India to a 6-wicket win over Bangladesh in Match 2 of the Asia Cup at Fatullah. It was an easy win for the Indians although their chase of 280 almost went into the last over.
India had a steady start from Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma which was worth 50 runs. The opening stand was broken in the 12th over when Shikhar Dhawan attempted a needless sweep shot to get out lbw to Abdur Razzak for 28 (from 44 balls). Rohit Sharma after scoring 21 from 29 balls was castled by a sharp indipper from medium pacer Ziaur Rahman.
India felt the pressure at 54 for 2 in the 13th over but the pair of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane batted out the Bangladeshis with their big partnership. With dew coming in, life became very difficult for the Bangladeshi spinners. Plenty of long hops from the bowlers resulted because of the dew which Kohli treated severely to take the game away from the hosts.
Kohli got out yorked by Rubel Hossain but before that he had scored 136 from 122 balls with 16 fours and 2 sixes. His partnership for the 3rd wicket with Ajinkya Rahane was a record 213 runs. Ajinkya Rahane who scored his 4th ODI fifty, got out for 73 (from 83 balls with 7 fours and a six) with India on the brink of a victory. Virat Kohli was the Man of the Match for his superb century.
Bangladesh Innings: Superb knocks from Anamul Haque and Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim carried Bangladesh to a healthy total of 279 for 7. Mushfiqur Rahim top scored with 117 from 113 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes which is his 2nd ODI century. Anamul Haque laid the impetus scoring 77 from 106 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes.
The two right handers added 133 runs for the 3rd wicket to overcome an otherwise dull start. India’s opening bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami did well with the new balls to peg back the hosts. Shami removed opener Shamshur Rahman with a short ball early on and R Ashwin got the lucky wicket of Mominul Haque to reduce Bangladesh to 49 for 2 in the 13th over.
Opener Anamul Haque started slowly but took off playing some sensational shots, especially against speedster Varun Aaron. Along with Mushfiqur, Anamul consolidated Bangladesh to provide a perfect launching pad.
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers taking 4 for 50. Varun Aaron had a terrible day going for as many as 74 runs in 7.5 overs. The fast bowler had a major embarrassment when his nasty beamer hit Mushfiqur Rahim on the upper body.
Toss and Teams: India has won the toss and elected to bowl first in its opening game of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh at Fatullah. The Indian team is on expected lines with Pujara left on the bench and Rahane retaining his spot. AT Rayudu has taken the place of Suresh Raina who was dropped for this tournament and Dinesh Karthik takes the place left by the injured MS Dhoni.
Bangladesh go into this match without Tamim Iqbal who is injured and Shakib Al Hasan who is facing a three-match ban.