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Rohit hundred as unbeaten India whip Bangladesh en route to semis

Last updated on: March 19, 2015 22:33 IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India is congratulated by Sureh Raina

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates with teammates Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja during the World Cup quarter-final against Bangladesh at the MCG on Thursday. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Defending champions India cantered into the semi-finals of the cricket World Cup after a thumping 109 runs victory over Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

- Scorecard

Set a challenging target after Rohit Sharma’s 137 propelled the Indians to 302 for 6, the Bangladeshis failed to get substantial partnerships going and were shot out for 193 in 45 overs.

India will play the winners of Friday’s third quarter-final between Australia and Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 26.

Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes came out all guns blazing, smacking 31 off the first six overs but when they fell in successive balls in the next over the run-chase was doomed.

Their frustrations were compounded by India's excellent fielding, once one of their weakest points but now one of their strongest.

India have bowled out their opponents in all seven matches they have played at the World Cup, another ominous warning for their remaining challengers.

Shikhar Dhawan took a juggled catch on the fine leg boundary rope to send Mahmudullah, who had scored two consecutive hundreds in the Pool stage, on his way for 21.

Then the Indian captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a diving catch to remove Soumya Sarkar for 29 to effectively end any hopes of a Bangladesh upset.

Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina

India's Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina during the World Cup quarter-final against Bangladesh at the MCG. Photograph: Vipin Pawar/Solaris Images

Earlier, Rohit, aided by a contentious decision that gave him a second life, scored his first World Cup hundred on Thursday to help the defending world champions India post a daunting total of 302 for six in their quarter-final against Bangladesh.

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Rohit was caught in the deep when he was on 90 but was allowed to keep batting when the umpires ruled that Rubel Hossain's delivery was above waist-height and therefore a no-ball, although television replays suggested it was a fair delivery.

Rohit had initially been forced to abandon his normal cavalier approach as his team mates struggled to score quickly on a windy afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but exploded later in the innings.

While Suresh Raina (65) was the only other batsman to make a significant contribution at a rapid strike-rate, Rohit batted for 47 overs to make 137 off 126 balls, highlighted by 14 boundaries and three sixes.

For a man who scored a world record 264 last year, it was almost sluggish going by his normal standards but no less crucial in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the World Cup.

Of the three matches already played at the sprawling MCG during this tournament, the team batting first has scored over 300 runs and won each time.

The MCG can be an intimidating bear-pit of a stadium and India opted to bat first in front of their fanatical supporters, and got off to a flying start, racing past 50 inside the first 10 overs.

Bangladesh, appearing in their first World Cup quarter-final, managed to put the brakes on India's scoring after the fielding restrictions were lifted and they brought on their spinners.

From the end of the 10th over till the start of the 35th over, India added just 104 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the first Indian batsman to go, stumped for 30, and he was quickly followed by Virat Kohli, who was caught behind for three after a reckless slash at a wide delivery.

When Ajinkya Rahane departed for 19 in the 28th over, the world champions were suddenly looking under pressure and Bangladesh the team with all the momentum.

But cricket is a game where things can turn on the smallest of margins and India got two big breaks that proved decisive.

Raina survived a confident appeal for lbw when he was on 10 then Rohit got a massive let-off 10 runs short of his century when he holed out at mid-wicket.

The pair put on 122 for the fourth wicket as Bangladesh began to lose their way in the field.

Raina threw his wicket away in the 44th over when he skied a catch behind then Rohit joined him after he was bowled by Taskin Ahmed but their efforts left India in a strong position to join South Africa as the second team in the semi-finals.

Don't miss these columns by Prem Panicker on World Cup 2015!

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