Sunday, July 21, 2024

Hardik and Kuldeep lead India to their second win in the Super Eight

India were too good for Bangladesh in Antigua, a total of 196 built by series of quickfire cameos in defiance of a slow pitch carrying them through to victory by 50 runs. If Australia beat Afghanistan, both they and India will move into the final four.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as a partnership has won many a match for India, but at this T20 World Cup, they are yet to click. Tanzim Hasan did as much as he could to mess with that plan. He was Bangladesh’s best bowler and he earned that mantle by doing the one thing a big-hitter hates. He was unpredictable. Kohli came charging to meet him but he did the batter with change of pace and let him have it with a send-off. Suryakumar Yadav managed to get a six away first ball but was overwhelmed by extra bounce the next delivery. Rishabh Pant was the firestarter. After India went from 71 for 1 to 77 for 3. They’re usually freight trains, slow to start, but steadily picking up steam. At this World Cup, they’re finding a new identity. Four of the seven batters who went out there scored at a strike rate of 150 or more. Twenty-eight balls was the longest anyone spent in the middle because everyone was looking to take risks.

Litton Das didn’t survive the powerplay, although he was done in by a lovely slower ball from Hardik, who also made sure to drag the offbreak wide of the right-hand batter’s hitting arc, securing a mis-hit that was caught at deep midwicket.

A batting team at 67 for 2 after 10 overs should have put up more of a fight but Bangladesh ran into Kuldeep Yadav and never recovered. The googly caught Tanzid unawares for 29 off 31. The legbreak had Towhid Hridoy lbw on the slog sweep. And finally, he was also up to task when Shakib Al Hasan was looking to hit him out of the ground. A simple shift of line slightly wider outside the off stump messed with the left-hand batter’s hitting arc and had him caught at cover. Kuldeep denied them that because they couldn’t pick the ball out of his hand. Jasprit Bumrah played his part as well, 15 of his 24 deliveries yielding dots along with two wickets.

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