Kohli gets into the act again as India makes light of yet another chase

The star batter builds on a blistering start from Rohit and Gill to conjure an unbeaten century and guide the Men in Blue to a fourth win on the trot; Bangladesh loses its way after a strong opening stand of 93 between Tanzid and Das to end up with a modest total of 256

October 19, 2023 10:31 pm | Updated October 20, 2023 02:34 am IST - Pune

India’s Virat Kohli and KL Rahul celebrate with captain Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan after the winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Bangladesh, at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023.

India’s Virat Kohli and KL Rahul celebrate with captain Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan after the winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Bangladesh, at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

India’s pursuit of happiness continued unhindered in the World Cup. A fourth successful chase, this time against Bangladesh, ushered in a seven-wicket victory at the MCA Stadium here on Thursday night. Trailing Bangladesh’s 256 for eight, India finished at 261 for three in 41.3 overs, with Virat Kohli’s masterly hundred (103 n.o., 97b, 6x4, 4x6) playing the guiding light.

Initially, the Men in Blue galloped at full tilt with their aesthetic opening pair bruising the Bangladesh attack. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill found their appetisers through pleasing fours off Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman.

India vs Bangladesh | As it happened

The sixes were on view too as Rohit pulled Shoriful. When Nasum Ahmed came in early, punches, drives and slog sweeps were essayed. Gill hoisted the spinner into the stands and in a Mustafizur over, drove on either side with finesse. However, Rohit (48), after striking a six off Hasan Mahmud, attempted an encore and succumbed.

This particular over was a mixed bag for Mahmud as his no-balls and free-hits found Kohli hungrily tucking in as overall 23 runs were plundered. Kohli and Gill maintained the tempo but the latter, after going past 50, found a sprinting fielder near the ropes. India was 132 for two in 19.2 overs, but well established in the driver’s seat with Kohli playing the anchor.

A partnership ensued with Shreyas Iyer. Singles were stolen and a defensive bat was offered too as the middle overs turned slow. It was essential that the batters stayed watchful as tumbling wickets could force an injured Hardik Pandya to step out to bat. And yet, Shreyas attempted an ambitious shot and perished.

K.L. Rahul then linked up with a patient Kohli and the two buckled down. An uppish cut for four against the spin may have got Rahul initial runs but he was quick to recalibrate and play straight. He did play a few rousing shots before Kohli cantered towards his ton and took India past the winning tape.

In the afternoon, fans reached the venue through narrow country roads. Out in the middle, Bangladesh’s injured skipper Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out and stand-in captain Najmul Hossain won the toss and elected to bat. On a flat track, openers Litton Das and Tanzid Hasan started sedately before shifting gears.

Southpaw Tanzid was the aggressor, picking on Mohammed Siraj and even hooking a six off Jasprit Bumrah. Hardik was pressed into service but, after bowling three deliveries, the all-rounder hobbled out following a left-ankle injury.

Meanwhile Tanzid tore into Shardul Thakur but, in trying to sweep spinner Kuldeep Yadav, the batter (51) got trapped. India effected a second breach as Ravindra Jadeja rapped Najmul’s pads and India initiated the middle-overs strangle. Mehidy Hasan feathered Siraj down the leg-side and a diving Rahul plucked a splendid diving left-handed catch. Soon Das holed out to Jadeja, Mushfiqur Rahim tried to seal the cracks and Mahmudullah used the long handle.

Still, India largely kept it tight with the highlight being Jadeja’s acrobatic catch to pause Mushfiqur’s innings. From being 90 for no loss at one stage, Bangladesh lost its way and never recovered.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.