Spinners help India grab World T20 semi-final berth

Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 28 :

Another inspiring performance by leg-spinner Amit Mishra and offie Ravichandran Ashwin helped India beat Bangladesh by eight wckets in a Group 2 match and qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here Friday.

Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra

Mishra, Man of the Match in the last two encounters, picked up three for 26 while off-spinner Ashwin conceded just 15 runs for two wickets from his full quota of four overs to restrict Bangladesh to a modest 138 for seven in 20 overs. Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami picked up a wicket each. Ashwin was adjudged Man of the Match for his miserly show.

While chasing, India stumbled early on losing Shikhar Dhawan (1) in the third over, but a century-run stand between Rohit Sharma (56) and Virat Kohli (57 not out) gave the 2007 champions an easy win as they scored 141 runs losing two wickets and nine balls to spare.

Rohit and Kohli were always at ease and took their own time. Rohit struck five fours and a six in his 44-ball innings while Kohli hit three fours and a six in his 50-ball knock. With victory in sight, Rohit gifted away his wicket hitting a full toss from Mashrafe Mortaza to Nasir Hossain at point in the 16th over but by then the writing was on the wall for the hosts.

Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22 not out) then took the team home with their unfinished 28-run stand for the third wicket without further loss.

Earlier, having won the toss, Dhoni again decided to chase and put Bangladesh in. Bangladesh were off to a disastrous start losing two wickets in two balls in the fourth over in what is their must-win game to stay alive in the tournament.

Opening batsman Anamul Haque saved the day for the hosts as he top scored with a valuable 43-ball 44 while Mahmadullah came up with a cameo of unbeaten 33 in 23 balls and hit five fours and a six. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim also contributed with 24.

Bangladesh openers were off to a flier, scoring 13 runs in the opening over off Kumar.

But Ashwin struck in successive deliveries to get rid of opening batsman Tamim Iqbal (6) and Shamsur Rahman as Bangladesh were reduced to 20 for two. Tamim edged low to slip where Suresh Raina took a good catch just off the ground while Rahman slogged swept Ashwin straight to Rohit Sharma at deep square leg.

In the next over, Bangladesh suffered another big set-back after former skipper Shakib Al Hasan (1) was played down when he prodded forward to Kumar and got an inside edge onto his pads, then the stumps.

With Shakib back in the dug-out, Bangladesh were all in all sorts of trouble at 21 for three and it was the 46-run stand between Haque and Rahim that brought back the innings on track. Rahim was set for a big innings but had to blame himself as he played a poor shot and lobbed it to Virat Kohli at mid-wicket off Shami.

Haque also fell soon, castled by Mishra with an excellent googly that foxed the batsmen completely and then a quick-fire stand between Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain (16) gave Bangladesh the momentum in the death over as they picked up 49 runs off 36 balls for the sixth wicket.

In the last over Mishra was denied a hat-trick by Mahmudullah after he removed both Hossain and Ziaur Rahman in successive deliveries and Mashrafe Mortaza finished off the over with a huge six over deep mid-wicket.

It is must-win match for Bangladesh after their meek surrender to defending champions the West Indies in their first encounter. India, however, have virtually qualified to the next stage with back-to-back wins against Pakistan and the West Indies.


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