India win last-ball thriller to stay alive

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M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru :

The match in a tweet: What a thriller! Bangladesh lose three wickets in three balls to keep India’s semi-final destiny in their own hands The final over: After 39 overs of tense cricket, Bangladesh faced the scenario of needing 11 runs from the final over to secure an upset win. And they were well and truly on track when they managed nine runs from the first three deliveries, including two vital boundaries from Mushfiqur Rahim. But he and veteran batsman Mahmudullah lost their heads looking for match-winning boundaries, both holing out in the deep to leave two runs to win and one to tie from the final ball. An air swing from Shuvagata Hom saw MS Dhoni collect the ball behind the stumps and, despite having removed his glove, he decided to sprint in to the wicket and break the stumps with his hand. He got there with non-striker Mustafizur Rahman just short of his ground to hand India victory by a solitary run. The star performer: India tweaker Ravi Ashwin was near unplayable at times during Bangladesh’s run chase and he could have well have finished with more than the two wickets he took. Having tempted opener Mohammad Mithun into a big shot early on that saw him perish in the deep, Ashwin slowly spun his web and relished spinning the ball away from Bangladesh’s left-handers throughout his four-over spell. He ultimately found the edge of the dangerous Shakib Al Hasan to remove him for 22 and beat the bat on more than one occasion. A brilliant performance of 2-20 that proved to be vital.

The comeback: One could only feel sympathy for India’s Jasprit Bumrah after a horror start to Bangladesh’s run chase that involved a costly midfield, a dropped catch and two overs that went for 19 runs. Having cost his side four runs with a mis-field on the boundary line from the very first ball, Bumrah then spilled a simple chance to give the dangerous Tamim Iqbal a life when on just 15. Tamim then went after Bumrah when the youngster came to the bowling crease, hitting him for four boundaries in his second over to round out a disappointing PowerPlay for the 22-year-old. But Bumrah responded when his captain needed him, returning in the tense late overs to concede just 13 from his final two overs, which was well below the required run rate, to play his role in the nail-biting win. The collision: For the second time in the tournament, a batsman was left seeing stars after a heavy collision mid-pitch. A few weeks after Zimbabwe’s Wellington Masakadza lost his wicket having collided with his batting partner during a match in the qualifying stages, Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal needed medical attention after a collision with India’s Ashish Nehra from the very first ball of the run chase. Thankfully Tamim was able to continue and the four runs he was gifted from that delivery would have no doubt softened the blow.

The stat: In four previous attempts, Bangladesh have never beaten India in T20 internationals. That drought looked set to end tonight, but India held their nerve to make it five from five. The wash-up: India’s semi-final hopes looked dashed midway through the final over but they are now in a strong position to advance to the final four thanks to a team hat-trick to finish the match. With New Zealand on six points and already through to the semis, India have moved to four points with Australia and Pakistan just behind on two points with three matches in the group remaining. Australia can stay alive when they face Pakistan on Friday before they tackle India on Sunday, while Bangladesh will take on the Black Caps on Saturday in a match that will have no bearing on the semi-final combatants.

Source and inputs-Internet

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