Bangladesh Win in Adverse Conditions Against India
India have been dominant in all formats of the game at home. Hence, it was no surprise that they were the cricket betting favourites against Bangladesh in the opening T20 game of the 3 match series. A Bangladesh win would have been a big underdog at the sportsbooks.
There were talks last week that the first T20 between the two sides might get called off due to heavy smog and pollution concerns in Delhi. However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was happy to comply with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). They stated that the match would go ahead as their players would not die from playing in such conditions.
India Struggle To Get Going
Bangladesh won the toss and decided to ask India to bat first. The tried-and-tested opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan failed as Sharma got out for just 9. Dhawan, who has struggled in T20 matches of late did not look very comfortable at the crease. He ended up making 41 before getting run out but his 41 runs came from 42 balls, which is just not good enough in T20 cricket, especially when you are opening the batting.
KL Rahul also struggled to find the gaps and got out for just 15. Shreyas Iyer looked good at the crease and showed that he is indeed the answer at number 4. He made 22 of 13 balls and looked to take command of the game, but fell just as he was getting into his groove. Rishabh Pant continued his struggles at the crease and made 27 at a strike rate of 103.
India were able to get to a respectable score of 148 in their 20 overs, thanks to some lower-order hitting by Krunal Pandya (15 of 8 balls) and Washington Sundar (14 of 5 balls).
It was a modest total to say the least. But given the fact that Bangladesh were without the services of the best player in Shakib Al Hassan, India were confident that they could go on to win.
Bangladesh Have An Easy Chase
India got off to a good start as DL Chahar picked up the dangerous Liton Das early and showed why the selectors continue to back him in the shorter format. However, Bangladesh quickly steadied the ship as Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar put together a 46-run partnership to keep themselves in the game.
Khaled Ahmed has proven to be very expensive in the shorter format of the game. He once again continued that trend. Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled economically to keep India in the game but runs were leading at the other end. Mushfiqur Rahim decided to step up in the absence of Shakib Al Hassan. His innings took the game away from India.
Rahim remained unbeaten on 60 and played with a lot of freedom. His knock included 8 fours and 1 six, which helped him score at a strike rate of nearly 140. Sharma also messed up his bowling combinations. Therefore, he had to entrust the last over to debutant Shivam Dube, who was not hard to dispatch.
India will rue the dropped catch in the 18th over that could have changed things. K Pandya put down a catch at the boundary. He also let the ball cross the rope to concede four runs.
Bangladesh captain Mahamudullah made some useful lower order runs, scoring 15 of 7 balls to ensure his team crossed the line easily. This was the first time that Bangladesh has beaten India in a T20 game.
India Must Bounce Back
India has to win the second T20 to keep the series alive. The second match will take place on November 7 in Rajkot. Captain Sharma has called on the younger players to take on more responsibility and make bigger contributions. Or else, there could be another Bangladesh win.