Formidable India could loose to spirited Bangladesh the T20 series if only Bangladesh players had stronger mental strength and Mahmudullah could be a bit more imaginative. A depleted Bangladesh team playing all round wonderful cricket shell shocked India beating them by 7 wickets in the first match at New Delhi. India bounced back with vengeance out gunning Bangladesh by 8 wickets at Rajkot. The series deciding match was heading towards a thriller with young Naim blinder was about taking Bangladesh across the tape. But a very talented Chahar decimated Bangladesh with brilliant pace bowling. His record setting 6/7 led India defending their score. India won the series 2-1. Bangladesh lost wickets in clusters of two wickets in successive balls thrice.
Bangladesh got defeated but did not get dismayed. Very few cricket admirers expected a Bangladesh team fresh from a players’ revolt against BCB and absence of three key players Shakib, Tamim and Saifuddin would even put up contest. But some brilliant youngsters made Bangladesh play eye to eye with formidable India. A little bit of imagination and more responsible batting by Liton, Soumya and Mushfique could even make Bangladesh achieving a historic series win.
What Made Bangladesh Bowl First At Nagpur?
With series on the border line and India under pressure of protecting its reputation Bangladesh could have put pressure on India batting first and setting a challenging target. Great Sunil Monohar Gavaskar at pre match inspection suggested for win toss and bat first. It was a flat dry wicket and was believed to help spinners more and more as game progressed. But Mahmudullah possibly dictated by team policy makers opted to bowl. Off course Bangladesh bowlers managed getting rid of prolific Rohit and flamboyant Shikhar early. Bangladesh dropped few easy catches, more importantly that of Rahul atnought. Rahul and Iyer punished clueless Bangladesh bowling mastering 174/5. India innings started disastrously with inform Rohit and Shilhar getting out early. Rahul first and Iyer finally takining advantage of some sloppy fielding of Bangladesh led India to a challenging score of 174. Iyer was specially severe on Afif and Aminul. Bangladesh ace pacer Mustafiz was well below his best in all three matches. Many thought Bangladesh would let left arm spinner Arafat Sunny a match.
Bangladesh reply also started disastrously with Liton and Soumya getting out on successive deliveries with score at 12. Young Naim was looking great. He set up an ideal partnership with Mohammad Mithun replacing out of form Mosaddeq on the day. Naim played some delectable strokes which would have even star Batsman Tamim Iqbalat his prime. The pair put on 98 sparkling runs in the third wicket. Bangladesh was cruising to their destination. Chahar and Dube struck double blow on successive deliveries at 110. First Mithun got out and then dependable Mushfique left without scoring. Bangladesh did not recover. Rather a spectacular spell of wonderful pace bowling by Chahar saw Bangladesh crumbling to 144 all out. The last 8 Bangladesh wickets produced only 34 runs. Chahar had dream spell of 3.2-0- 7 -6 including a hat trick. India won by 30 runs and won the series 2-1.
Despite the loss Bangladesh achieved several positives. Mohammad Naim Sheikh is an exciting opening batsman. His fearless quality batting will give Bangladesh wind in its sail in shorter version of the game. The return of Al Amin, Consistency of Shafiul will also give comfort. Aminul is also good find. Bangladesh captain perhaps could do better opting to bat in the third ODI. It was an opportunity lost. None expected Bangladesh not even doing what they did. The achievement is no less satisfying. But team tigers definitely lost an opportunity of winning the T20 series against strong India in their own backyard.
BDST: 1221 HRS, NOV 12, 2019