A dominating batting effort from the top three and a disciplined bowling performance powered India to a 9 wicket win over underdogs Bangladesh and seal a date with arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals of the Champions Trophy 2017.
After being asked to bat first by Virat Kohli, Bangladesh added 267/7 on the scoreboard facing the Indian bowling attack. In reply, India chased down the target without breaking a sweat in just 40.1 overs with 8 wickets in hands.
The openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, were once again in full colours and steered the chase from the front. Skipper Virat Kohli then combined with the rock solid Rohit Sharma and continued the winning process. The pair played in a free flowing manner and took a halt only after completing the job.
Bangladesh can blame this loss on both the bowling and batting departments. The bowlers were below par and the batsmen irresponsible. This dual malfunction eventually threw Bangladesh out of the competition and also ended their dream run in the tournament.
The fresh pitch and accuracy of Bhuvneshwar Kumar caused early troubles as opener Soumya Sarkar and No. 3 Sabbir Rahman departed without making any significant addition to the scoreboard.
Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, however, took Bangladesh to a strong position as the duo added 123 runs for the 3rd wicket occupied the crease for 21.1 overs and laid a great platform for a huge total.
It was only during their stay that India felt some pressure of staying on par with the opposition. Later, there was a slump triggered by part-timer Kedar Jadhav who snapped both Tamim and Shakib al Hasan in short successions to leave the batting side in mess.
But, Mashrafe Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed showed some fight and added valuable runs towards the end to take the score past the 250 run mark. Their partnership was a huge reason behind the respectable total which Bangladesh managed in the end despite all the hiccups.
Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was unimpressed with the way his men played and expressed his thoughts in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Here is what he had to say:
Obviously, we could have got to 300-320. Once Kedar came in, he restricted us by picking those 2 wickets. We have some players who are youngsters who could not go through in the tournament. We have some experienced players as well who would come in strongly next time. We need to be mentally strong. Skill wise we are fine. Once, you are playing a game like this, you need to be mentally strong.