India thrash Bangladesh in Asia Cup opener


Dhaka—India has beaten Bangladesh by 45 runs in the Asia Cup in the opening match of the Asia Cup in Dhaka on Wednesday. For Bangladesh, only Sabbir Rehman could manage to put a little resistance scoring 44 runs off 32 deliveries.
Ashish Nehra grabbed three wickets while Bumrah, Pandya, Ashwin took a wicket each for India.
Batting first, India’s Rohit Sharma made a fabulous half-century as India overcame a shaky start to post 166-6. Rohit hit 83 off 55 balls after Bangladesh, opting to bowl first on a rain-soaked pitch, made good use of the conditions to put India in trouble at a packed Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Al Amin Hossain bowled opener Shikhar Dhawan for two before skipper Mortaza got rid of in-form Virat Kohli, who offered an easy catch to Mahmudullah at mid off for eight, to provide the initial jolt.
With the first six overs yielding just 31 runs, India began to feel the pressure once Mahmudullah bowled Suresh Raina for 13 to leave the visitors struggling at 42-3.
Sharma and Yuvraj Singh steadied the innings with a 55-run fourth wicket partnership before Hardik Pandya, who scored 31 off 18 balls, joined the opener to provide India much-needed impetus.
Sharma was dropped by Shakib on 21 off Taskin Ahmed and he promptly made Bangladesh pay dearly as he hit two fours and a six in the next three balls of the over.
He struck seven fours and three sixes for his 10th half-century in a Twenty20 international.
Sharma and Pandya had their work cut out against Bangladesh’s star left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman, picking 21 runs off his third over and keeping him wicket-less in the match
Al-Amin dismissed both Sharma and Pandya in the final over to finish with 3-37.
Earlier, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who is part of a four-man pace attack, won the toss and opted to bowl on a noticeably green pitch in the Asia Cup opener in Mirpur. It had rained on and off during the day and there was a warning that some light showers may arrive later in night, but the match began under clear skies.
The other uncertainty pertaining to this game was cleared when MS Dhoni walked out for the toss. He had contracted some back spasms during training on Monday, but the team management had said he was “recovering well.” Even enough to take the keeping gloves.
So, India’s only change was Virat Kohli, coming back from a break, after consultation with the physio Patrick Farhat. He replaced Ajinkya Rahane from the XI that played the third T20 against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam.
Bangladesh brought in batsman Mohammad Mithun on the basis of his work at a training camp in Chittagong. He generally plays in the top order, but has been listed at No. 8. Imrul Kayes took over the opening spot from Tamim Iqbal who was on paternity leave. Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman make up the spin options while Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed will lead the pace attack along with their captain and Al-Amin Hossain.—AFP

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