India survive Bangladesh scare in T20 World Cup to step closer to semi-final spot

Fifties from Kohli, Rahul and good fielding seals tense five-run win over Tigers in Adelaide

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Maybe Bangladesh were not trying to win the T20 World Cup anyway. Maybe they were only ever going to be content with taking down some big guns along the way.

They could not have come much closer to a giant killing as they did against India in Adelaide on Wednesday.

They fell five runs short in a thrilling finish that means India are almost certain of a place in the last four. The result pushed Bangladesh and Pakistan nearer the exit.

“India is the favourite. They came here to win the World Cup. We are not favourites. We didn't come here to win the World Cup.”

Such was Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan’s less-than-rousing call to arms ahead of the game. Maybe Litton Das did not get the memo. Nor Taskin Ahmed. Nor Nurul Hasan.

They all looked like they believed it could be done. First, Taskin, who sent down 16 dot balls in an extraordinary display with the new ball.

India recovered from the taxing start thanks to fifties from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, whose 64 not out was his third half-century of the competition and won him the player of the match award.

India’s 184-6 from their 20 overs was an imposing total, but Das set off like an express train in pursuit. The opener made 60 in just 27 balls.

His momentum was halted by a rain break, which had seen Bangladesh’s target reduced to 151 from 16 overs.

Immediately after the delay, he slipped turning for a second and was run out by a brilliant direct hit from Rahul.

Wickets fell regularly thereafter, but Nurul and Taskin provided a rousing finish with some lusty hitting. They blazed 37 in 19 balls as they vainly chased the target, but fell one blow short of a Super Over.

“It has been the story when we play against India,” Shakib said after the defeat. “We are almost there but never get over the line.”

Rohit Sharma, the India captain, praised his side for the fielding in the wet conditions, as well as Arshdeep Singh for his coolness bowling the death overs.

“I was calm and nervous at the same time,” Rohit said.

“It was important for us as a group to stay calm and execute the plans. Shortened games can go either way, but we held our nerves well after the game started, it was a good win in the end.”

The win moved India top of the group with six points, one point ahead of South Africa, who face Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday.

The opening game of the day in Adelaide had avoided any issues with the weather. The Netherlands effectively ended Zimbabwe’s hopes of advancing, with a five-wicket win.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 117 in 19.2 overs with only Sikander Raza, who made 40, and Sean Williams (28) reaching double figures.

Paul van Meekeren took three wickets, then Max O'Dowd led the reply with 52 as the Dutch competed their first Super 12 win with two overs to spare.

Updated: November 02, 2022, 1:04 PM
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