India vs Bangladesh - Almost Heartbroken!
After a thumping win against Pakistan, we all thought India was back on track with their world cup campaign. They just had to brush aside Bangladesh before they faced Australia in almost a knock-out game, to make it to the Semis. Indians were facing Bangladesh in Bengaluru and luckily I didn't have to travel anywhere this time around, this was supposed to be more of a relaxed game. It was expected of India to score 180+ if they batted first or bowl out Bangladesh under 140 and chase it comfortably. Bangladesh had already been knocked out of the tournament and hence they were playing for pride and probably try cause an upset against India and odds were none.
Bangladesh wins the toss and puts India to bat first. Something, I wanted personally since we wanted the Indin batting line-up to fire against Bangladesh and post a commendable total at a venue which was supposedly batsman friendly and smaller to earlier venues where India played.
India started slowly and cautiously with both their openers Rohit & Dhawan getting good starts but failing to convert them into big scores. They were dismissed early before they caused any damage to the scoreboard. Raina going big with his heave!
Even Virat Kohli found it difficult to score against Bangladeshi bowlers, as to everyone's surprise the pitch was on the slower and sluggish side. He scored run a ball 24 before he was bowled by Shuvagata.
Hardik & Raina combined together to hit some lusty blows to push India's run rate.
But soon, Raina & Hardik were dismissed in quick succession to restrict India's run flow. Bangladesh were disciplined with their bowling and fielding effort, they definitely looked hungry to win the game.
Jadeja loses his stump trying to score some big runs to push India's total. It was indeed becoming obvious that once again, India's famed batting line-up was facing difficulties in the tournament to score quick runs.
Bangladesh was playing fearless cricket, they had nothing to lose as they had been knocked out of the tournament already and were hungry to cause a major upset
Dhoni plays an unorthodox shot trying to push India's total past 150. India ended up scoring 146 in 20 overs against a spirited Bangladeshi attack on a sluggish pitch. They were expected to at least go past 160-170 plus with their famed batting line-up.
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal started strongly by smashing Indian bowlers all around the park. Indians made it easy for Bangladesh to get away with plenty of misfields and drop catches.
Just when we thought Tamim Iqbal would do what he did to India in 2007, Dhoni did his magic behind stumps to dismiss the dangerous Tamim Iqbal for 35 off 32 balls.
Hardik Pandya leaping in air after successfully taking a catch to dismiss opener Mithun off Ashwin.
Although India had pegged Bangladesh with a couple of quick wickets, Shakib Al Hasan looked like the key batsman for Bangladesh to take them through and he looked comfortable middling the ball well and putting pressure on India.
Bangladesh found some good support in their fans who were happy to see their team perform well against mighty India.
Ashwin came back to bowl a magical spell of 4 overs for 20 runs taking 2 wickets including the dangerous Shakib Al Hasan. The spin trio of Ashwin, Raina & Jadeja had pegged Bangladesh back but it seemed like Bangladesh were still in control of the match with a good run rate chasing the total and batting depth.
Bumrah had a terrible first spell where he was hammered by Tamim Iqbal and co. He had also dropped a sitter while on the field which had made it difficult for India. He was brought back to bowl his second spell is when he bowled an excellent 16th over before he was given the task of bowling the 19th penultimate over when Bangladesh needed 17 runs off 12 balls. He ended up giving only 6 runs to take it to 11 runs needed off 6 balls for Bangladesh to register a historic win against India.
Dhoni picked Pandya to bowl the last over, not that he had too many options but he could have still gone with Raina, Yuvraj but he went for Pandya who's proven a bit expensive in the past. Dhoni seen discussing strategies with Pandya, later he was joined by half the team. Not sure who Pandya listened to, though!
With 11 runs needed off 6 balls, Mahmudullah took a single off the first ball and gave strike to Mushfiqur Rahim. Mushfiqur did the unthinkable by striking two boundaries off the next 2 deliveries off Pandya to bring the score down to just 2 runs needed off 3 balls. All this while when Dhoni, Nehra, Virat and Ashwin were seen talking to young Pandya on bowling strategies. Bangladesh had come very close to upsetting India. Mushfiqur was already seen yelling and celebrating his shots. As a photographer trying to capture all these emotions were extremely difficult and the fact India were losing made it very hard for me.
Pandya bowls a slower short ball and Mushfiqur skies it to deep midwicket where Dhawan took the catch quite easily. Mushfiqur can't believe what he's done, Maybe, it was too early to celebrate Mushfiqur! The job isn't done until it's DONE! Someone gotta teach these guys a bit about controlling emotions.
With 2 runs required off 2 balls, Mahmudullah was on strike, being an experienced batsman he only had to play sensibly to take Bangladesh past the finishing line but what does he do ? He plays the heroic slog off a full toss by Pandya. Dhoni had just changed the field by bringing Jadeja, one of the better fielders there and Jaddu took the stunning catch to dismiss Mahmudullah. Oh! What have you done Mahmudullah?
Bangladesh had dug themselves in hole but still they just needed one good hit or even a single to get a draw and take it to the super overs. After an extensive discussion over what to bowl, how to bowl between the entire Indian team, Pandya bowls short ball outside off which Shuvagata misses clearly and takes off for a single, this is where Dhoni comes into the picture he had already prepared for the scenario with his right-hand gloves off who collects and dashes to break the stump racing against non-striker who was already on full sprint to cover the distance. Dhoni dashes and breaks the stumps running the non-striker out and India wins a thriller against Bangladesh. By now, the entire Chinnaswamy stadium had erupted a few times, gone silent and was in a state of shock only to realise that how India had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Team India celebrates victory. You can't script this, Unbelievable scenes from Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
No one could have stopped the young Pandya after his stunning last over especially his last three balls which produced 3 wickets. I am sure he himself couldn't believe his feat, he had just kept India's semi-finals hope alive. He went for a long victory lap before he went out of breath!
Indian fans celebrating!! Bengaluru has seen some epic cricket duels and this will definitely go down as one of those memorable nail biters.
All's Well That Ends Well! Bromance :)