World Cup 2015 Q/F 2 : India hammer Bangladesh to reach semi- finals

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Indian cricket team celebrates a Bangladeshi wicket in the quarter- finals of the 2015 World Cup
Indian cricket team celebrates a Bangladeshi wicket in the quarter- finals of the 2015 World Cup

Chasing a huge Indian total of 302 was a big ask for the Bangladesh batsmen. Indian bowlers and fielding which have surprised many with the intensity was maintained in the quarter- finals too. The bowlers Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled tight and to a a plan. The result, Bangladesh crumbled under pressure and lost wickets regularly. And with the asking rate climbing steadily, the target of 302 by India was looking distant dream for Bangladesh. How the Indian bowlers maintained their strangle hold on Bangladesh batsmen could be seen by the bowlers showing. Umesh Yadav 4/ 31, Mohammad Shami 2/37, Ravindra  Jadeja 2/42. The result saw Bangladesh bowled out for 193.

Earlier , after going through a rather lean patch with the bat Rohit Sharma finally found some form at the right time and scored his first World Cup hundred to help the defending champions India post a daunting total of 302 for six in their quarterfinal against Bangladesh.

Rohit was caught in the deep when he was on 90 but was allowed to keep batting when the umpires ruled that Rubel Hossain’s delivery was above waist-height and therefore a no-ball, although television replays suggested it was a fair delivery. But the umpire ruled in favour of the batsman.

Rohit had initially been forced to abandon his normal approach as his team mates struggled to score quickly on a windy afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but exploded later towards the end. Left- hander Suresh Raina (65 off 57 balls ) was the only other batsman to make a significant contribution at a rapid strike-rate, Rohit batted for 47 overs to make 137 off 126 balls, highlighted by 14 boundaries and three sixes.

For a player who scored a world record 264 last year, the World cup was a huge disappointment before the quarter- finals. Bangladesh, appearing in their first World Cup quarterfinal, managed to put the brakes on India’s scoring. From the end of the 10th over till the start of the 35th over, India added just 104 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the first Indian batsman to go, stumped for 30, and he was quickly followed by Virat Kohli, who was caught behind for three chasing ball and playing away from the body. And when Ajinkya Rahane fell for 19 in the 28th over, the world champions were suddenly looking under pressure and Bangladesh the team with all the momentum.

But cricket is a game where things can turn on the smallest of margins and India got two big breaks that proved decisive. Raina survived a confident appeal for lbw when he was on 10 then Rohit got a massive let-off 10 runs short of his century when he holed out at mid-wicket. The pair put on 122 for the fourth wicket as Bangladesh began to lose their way in the field. Bangladesh fielders had even angry exchanges among themselves. They were left frustrated as India bounced back to post an impressive total.

Raina threw his wicket away in the 44th over when he skied a catch behind then Rohit joined him after he was bowled by Taskin Ahmed but their efforts left India in a strong position to join South Africa as the second team in the semifinals.

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