Bangladesh were just 3 balls and 2 runs away from a historic win in the World T20 at Bengaluru today but India found an unlikely hero in Hardik Pandya who came back after conceding 9 runs of the first three balls in the last over to not conceding a run in the next three to take his team home on the night.
The Men in Blue held on to their nerves and plucked victory out of defeat in a nail-biting game between the two neighboring nations.A loss in this game would have all but ended India’s hopes in the competition but a 1-run victory ensured that the hosts are still within touching distance of a semi-final spot.
Among all the twists and turns at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, here are 5 turning points:
- Raina-Kohli partnership:
India were not off to a great start in the first six overs and lost both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in successive overs. But in came India’s most dependable batsmen in Kohli and India’s most successful run-getter in Suresh Raina who brought some calm to the proceedings. The duo put on 50 runs in 6.4 overs at more than 7 runs an over and did not allow the visitors to gain an advantage in the middle overs. This was incidentally the highest partnership in the game.
- Bumrah gets knocked off his perch:
The 22-year old quickie was under pressure when he dropped a sitter letting Tamim Iqbal live another over. But he got a chance at instant redemption when Dhoni threw him the ball the very next over. However, the youngster showed his nerves and was hit for four boundaries and gave 16 runs away in the last over of the power-play. This over gave Bangladesh some impetus and pushed the required run rate below the current run rate for the first time in the game.
- Shakib Al Hasan plays a cameo:
In a low scoring game, the all-rounder produced a brilliant knock in the middle of the innings as he accelerated at the right moment giving his team the upper hand in the chase. Just as Ashwin and Jadeja looked like they calmed things down, Shakib played a brilliant innings of 22 runs of just 15 balls to tilt the game back into Bangladesh’s favor.
- Bumrah hits back:
With just 17 runs needed off the last two overs, Bangladesh looked like they were going to run away with it but India’s rising star Jaspreet Bumrah had other ideas. He pulled out a superb over full of yorkers just at the right time and conceded just 6 runs leaving the required runs in double digits. He kept his nerve and made sure that he never allowed the batsmen to get underneath him and produced a timely spell of accurate bowling to give India a lifeline back into the game.
- Pandya leaves it late:
The visitors needed just 11 runs of the final over to knock the hosts out of the tournament and all the pressure was on the young Hardik Pandya who seemed to have gelled into this Indian squad with ease. He started the over with a single but then got hit for two consecutive boundaries as Bangladesh silenced the home fans. However, the cheers were back when the next two balls ended in two Bangladeshi wickets that left them needing two runs of the last ball. Pandya pulled another one out of his hat as he pushed the ball wide outside off and the batsmen failed to connect. Dhoni, who was alert sprinted to take the bails out and caught the batsmen just short of the crease leading his team to a 1 run victory, making the crowd erupt in joy.
This game was a great advertisement of the sport globally and will surely increase the popularity of the International event happening in India.