Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Mushfiqur Rahim hands Bangladesh win in 1000th T20 as India are left gasping in Delhi

Visitors secure seven-wicket win on a sluggish pitch after match goes ahead amid heavy air pollution

Bangladesh's Mustafiqur Rahim scored an unbeaten fifty in the first T20 against India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. AP
Bangladesh's Mustafiqur Rahim scored an unbeaten fifty in the first T20 against India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. AP

Bangladesh won the 1000th T20 International in history in style by securing a seven-wicket win over India in New Delhi on Sunday.

The match was mired in controversy well before the start with India’s capital city experiencing extreme levels of air pollution. The wellbeing of players and spectators was a big concern and there were doubts over hosting of the match in pollution levels that were hazardous.

But as match time approached, the smog cleared to a degree and it was Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim who led the way with a sparkling innings of 60 off 43 balls, which included four successive boundaries in the penultimate over that changed the course of the match.

Up until that time, Bangladesh were behind the game chasing India's total of 148-6. But with 22 needed from 12 balls, Rahim thrashed left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed for 16 runs in four balls to end the contest.

Tigers bowlers rule on sluggish pitch

Bangladesh won the toss and decided to bowl first in the evening game as dew was going to be a big factor in the second innings. India’s batsmen found it difficult to time the ball on a slow surface at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan (41) top-scoring but taking 42 balls in the process.

Bangladesh's Aminul Islam (C) celebrates with teammates after dismissing India's Shreyas Iyer (not pictured) during the first T20 international cricket match of a three-match series between Bangladesh and India, at Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on November 3, 2019. ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP / Jewel SAMAD / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-----
Bangladesh's Aminul Islam, centre, celebrates the dismissing India's Shreyas Iyer. AFP

All Indian batsmen endured a difficult time against Bangladesh's spinners as leg-spinner Aminul Islam (2-22) and off-spinner Afif Hossain (1-11) gave nothing away in their three overs.

There was sharp turn on offer for spinners and the ball also stuck in the pitch, making stroke making extremely difficult. KL Rahul struggled to keep a cut shot of Aminul down while debutant Shivam Dube got a leading edge to the bowler Afif. In the end, even the free-flowing Rishabh Pant was reduced to run-a-ball 27 off 26 balls.

Three sixes in the last two, however, from Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya helped India edge close to 150 mark.

India strike back

It was a decent total and the Indians knew batting was going to be difficult, even with dew around. Seamer Deepak Chahar struck in the opening over, getting Liton Das to mistime to cover. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had debutant opener Mohammed Naim caught at long on as the hosts clawed their way back at 54-2 in the eighth over.

While there were no more wickets for the next half hour, India's spinners kept a tight leash on the batsmen. Sundar gave away just 25 runs from his four overs while Chahal was the best Indian on show, picking up 1-24.

Game-changing moment

Chahal's figures could have been better had Pandya taken a simple catch of Rahim at mid-wicket in the 18th over when the batsman was on 38 and Bangladesh had just lost the well-set Soumya Sarkar for 39. But Pandya not only dropped a sitter, the ball also went for a four.

From there, it was one-way traffic as the experienced Rahim targeted Khaleel in the penultimate over with a flurry of boundaries. The Tigers won with three balls to spare

Updated: November 3, 2019 09:58 PM

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