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Gambhir ton ensures easy win for India
Harish Kotian in Dhaka | May 12, 2007 13:48 IST
Last Updated: May 12, 2007 17:31 IST
Gautam Gambhir's scintillating century inspired India to a convincing 46-run victory over Bangladesh in the second one-day international at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Saturday.
The left-hander battled cramps to score 101 off 113 deliveries, including 11 boundaries, as India posted a healthy 284 for 8 in the allotted 49 overs. In reply, Bangladesh could only muster 238 for 9.
Debutant Piyush Chawla led the bowling honours for India. The 18-year-old leggie took three wickets for 37 runs in his 10 overs on a pitch that offered considerable assistance to the spinners. Ramesh Powar also impressed while claiming 1 for 32 in his 10.
It was only a brief cameo of 42 from Mashrafe Mortaza that saved Bangladesh some face. He hit five sixes, including four in a row off Dinesh Mongia, to thrill the home fans late in the day.
The victory helped India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The last match is in Chittagong on May 15.
Mashrafe Mortaza was back for Bangladesh after missing the last match with a back strain and immediately made his presence felt with a few deliveries that bounced and left Virender Sehwag.
Syed Rasel also kept a tight line from the other end and the Indian openers were not allowed to get of the hook. But India did have a good start, scoring 35 for no loss after seven overs.
Sehwag's impatience continued to grow. Off the first ball of the eighth over he carted Rasel for a straight six over the long-off boundary and off the next he just about managed to get it over the mid-on fielder. Perhaps, he didn't learn from it. Two balls later he spooned a catch while attempting the same shot; Javed Omar at mid-on took a good running catch to send back him for 21 (26 balls, 1x 4, 1 x6).
Being one of the senior-most batsmen in the side, Sehwag failed to live up to expectations once again and gave his wicket away rather tamely. Learn from your mistakes, they say, but Sehwag loves to repeat them again and again.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni again promoted to number three, got off to a shaky start. In fact, twice edges off his bat in the ninth over, bowled by Mortaza, fell short of the keeper and slips.
But he settled down gradually and looked to build another big innings. He was getting good support from Gambhir, who eased his way to a half-century off 66 balls (5 boundaries) in the 21st over.
The two batsmen were having an easy time in the middle, having already added 87 runs for the second wicket, and Bangladesh started to worry a bit. But against the run of play India lost the big wicket of the in-form Dhoni. He was a bit unlucky as he tried to cut a short delivery from left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique, but it kept a bit low and the bottom edge was neatly held by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
Yuvraj Singh's innings was a bit like the passing shower that hit the ground in the morning -- looked threatening, but didn't last long. He blasted his way to 24 with the help of two boundaries and as many sixes, but then his knock was cut short courtesy a good return catch by Rafique.
Gambhir, meanwhile, who got a reprieve when on 95 thanks to a dropped catch, registered his second one-day century off 111 balls, inclusive of 11 boundaries, in the 38th over of the innings. It was a great, solid knock by the Delhi left-hander in such hot and humid conditions, which forced him to ask for a runner.
His previous century was against Sri Lanka (103) in Ahmedabad in November 2005, but, unfortunately, India had lost that match.
On achieving the milestone he seemed to have relaxed a bit and that cost him his wicket. He was bowled by left-arm medium pacer Rasel two balls later for 101, as India slipped to 210 for 4 in the 39th over.
With 10 overs to go, the onus was now on captain Rahul Dravid and the lower order to take the team to a big total and leave Bangladesh with a mountain to climb.
The two Dineshs, however, fell cheaply. Mongia was caught by Rafique off left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for 17 while Karthik went for 6, leg before wicket to Rafique.
Debutant Piyush Chawla's stint with the bat did not last long as he was stumped off Razzak for 1 in the 46th over. Incidentally, Chawla proved to be a more than useful batsman for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket last season. Here he lasted only two balls. Ramesh Powar fell leg before wicket to Mortaza for 5 in the final over of the innings.
Dravid remained unbeaten on 42 from 47 deliveries, while Zaheer Khan hit a couple of boundaries in the end to take India to 284 for 7 in their 49 overs.
Rafique was the most successful bowler, taking 3 for 59 in 10 overs. Abdur Razzak and Rasel also finished among the wickets, claiming 2 for 59 and 2 for 49 respectively.
It could be said that India's march to 300 was halted by the loss of a few quick wickets at the end. In the last 10 overs, they could add just 68 runs, losing four wickets in the end. But one gets the feeling that even this score would be enough.
The pitch used for this match looks a trifle better than the one used in the previous one-dayer, when India successfully chased down 251 in 47 overs.
India will therefore need to produce a disciplined bowling effort and try to take a few early wickets to put some pressure on Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's run chase was dealt a blow early on when the dangerous Tamim Iqbal was run-out for 7 in the fifth over of the innings. The young left-hander had a huge misunderstanding with his senior partner Javed Omar, resulting in his run out and it was not a surprise they had a big argument as they waited for the third umpire's decision.
Zaheer Khan's double strike then took the stuffing out the hosts' challenge.
Javed Omar (11) tried to play a lofted drive through the covers, but Dinesh Karthik produced a brilliant catch in the 11th over. The wicket came at quite a crucial time for India as Bangladesh had threatened briefly.
Aftab Ahmed came out all guns blazing and was taking on the pacers, but Omar's wicket set them back a bit.
Zaheer followed it up with a nice outgoing delivery to get the edge of Saqibul Hasan's bat and have him caught behind for 5. Bangladesh were reduced to 60 for 3 in the 13th over.
18-year-old leg spinner Piyush Chawla was introduced in the 15th over and Aftab promptly dispatched his first delivery to the cover boundary. But Chawla had something to smile about in his next over, when he bowled the dangerous Mohammad Ashraful for 12.
Aftab, who till then had a brisk knock in scoring 40, was bowled by Powar in the 20th over. He tried to charge down the wicket, but missed the flight completely and the ball crashed on to his stumps.
In just 20 overs, Bangladesh had lost half their side; even the fans in the stadium lost hope and marched out in anger.
Captain Habibul Bashar and young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim tried to rebuild the innings with some steady batting. Bashar, particularly, looked keen on spending some time middle and make up for his recent failures. But Ramesh Powar kept the batsman on a tight leash. The Mumbai off-spinner bowled his 10 overs on the trot, giving away just 32 runs and picking a wicket.
Yuvraj Singh replaced Powar and struck with his second delivery; he got the Mushfiqur Rahim for 35. Rahim, who hit three boundaries and a six in his 43-ball knock, tried to play over the midwicket region, but Dinesh Karthik held on to a good running catch.
Bashar's six over long-on off Yuvraj Singh in the 40th over brought some cheer to his fans. He, however, did not survive long and was out stumped to Chawla as he charged down the wicket.
The Bangladesh captain though must have heaved a sight of relief after scoring 43 from 88 balls, inclusive of two sixes, even though it was in a losing cause.
Mohammad Rafique became Chawla's third victim, when he was caught for 13.
It was not all over for Bangladesh though as Mortaza provided some entertainment in the end with a delightful cameo of 42. He gave the dwindling crowd plenty of joy, especially in the 47th over when he smashed Mongia for four consecutive sixes. Suddenly, the spectators who chose to wait were treated to some big hitting as Mortaza carted three huge sixes on the leg side followed by a fourth over long-off.
But, much to their disappointment, he fell in the next over attempting another big shot. He smashed his way to a blazing 42 from just 21 balls, inclusive of five sixes and a boundary before falling in the 48th over, caught by Sehwag at mid-on to give Yuvraj his second wicket.
Bangladesh finished on 238 for 9. Abdur Razzak (9) and Syed Rasel (4) were unbeaten.
For India, the most heartening part was the performance of the two spinners - Powar and debutant Chawla.
Chawla particularly impressed, finishing with 3 for 37 from his 10 overs and showed plenty of promise. Once Bangladesh lost a few quick wickets at the start, they were never in the game.
It was sweet revenge for Dravid and his boys after the shock defeat to the hosts at the 2007 World Cup, a result that was responsible for their ouster in the preliminary stage.
Complete Coverage - India's tour of Bangladesh 2007