Rohit stars as India seals semi-final berth
Ahmedabad / Melbourne: A masterful hundred, a feisty half-century, exceptional fast bowling, two fabulous catches – the 51,552 who came to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday (March 19) were treated to all of this as India beat Bangladesh by 109 runs in the second quarter-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Rohit Sharma’s 126-ball 137 and his 122-run partnership in just 95 balls with Suresh Raina (65 off 57 balls) transformed the match after Bangladesh had restricted India to 99 for 2 in the first 25 overs. With luck on their side, India rattled off 147 from the final 15, and Bangladesh’s failure to stitch together significant partnerships meant it fell behind.
Rohit had started the match with a glorious square drive off Mashrafe Mortaza, but runs were hard to come by once Nasir Hossain was called on to bowl his off-spin in the sixth over. Shikhar Dhawan was relatively subdued on his way to 30 from 50 balls, and was the first to go, stumped off Shakib Al Hasan’s bowling after a 75-run stand (99 balls).
Virat Kohli made just three before a loose stroke at Rubel Hossain saw the edge neatly taken by Mushfiqur Rahim. Rubel’s celebrations were prolonged and unrestrained, and his first spell excellent – 6-0-14-1. When Ajinkya Rahane miscued Taskin Ahmed to cover, India was 115 for 3 with just 22 overs remaining.
Raina and Rohit then started to accelerate. In the Power Play that followed, India took 50 runs. Rohit was handed a reprieve on 90, and eased to his hundred off 108 balls, having taken 70 for his half-century, while Raina needed just 46 balls for his 50.
Raina eventually fell to a mistimed heave, but Rohit went on to smite 14 fours and three sixes in an innings that ensured India would post a huge total. Ravindra Jadeja’s 23 off ten balls at the end nudged the scoreboard past 300.
To overhaul that, Bangladesh needed a big innings of its own. But Tamim Iqbal, who struck three fours off Mohammed Shami, was guilty of going for one stroke too many. Umesh Yadav got one to shape away, and Dhoni gathered the edge just in front of him. Next ball, Soumya Sarkar played one behind point and was guilty of ball-watching even as Imrul Kayes hared down the pitch. Jadeja’s throw to Umesh found him short of his ground.
Sarkar and Mahmudullah added 40, but at a pace that didn’t worry India. Shami, taken for 18 in his first two overs, then returned to snaffle both. Dhawan took a superb catch on the rope at fine leg to send back Mahmudullah, centurion against England and New Zealand, flicking the ball up, stepping outside the rope and then coming back in to gather.
Sarkar’s 29 ended when he opened the face and guided one to Dhoni’s left. The Indian captain made good ground to take a stunning catch. Shakib looked off colour and eventually cut Jadeja to point, and when Mushfiqur’s heave at Umesh only went as far as Dhoni, the game was as good as done.
Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman added 50 to delay the inevitable, but the end was swift, as Umesh – pacy, hostile and accurate – finished with 4 for 31. Australia or Pakistan, who play on Friday in Adelaide, awaits India in the semi-final.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]