India-Pakistan to clash again ICC Champions Trophy final

June 16, 2017 04:37 AM

NEW DELHI: India dished out a clinical performance to book a record fourth final appearance at the ICC Champions Trophy after sweeping aside Bangladesh in a one-sided affair in Edgbaston on Thursday. Powered by a measured century from Rohit Sharma (123*) and a brisk fifty from captain Virat Kohli (96*), India coasted to a nine-wicket win, chasing down 265 in 40.1 overs.

With this win, defending champions India set up a mouth-watering title clash with Pakistan on Sunday - a team they thrashed earlier in the league stage to kickstart their campaign.

The batting masterclass was preceded by a combined bowling effort that restricted Bangladesh to a below-par 264/7 after India opted to field first. Bhuvneshwar gave Bangladesh two early setbacks but Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim struck fifties each to lead the recovery. The Indian bowlers then made a comeback in the middle overs, thanks to a defining spell from part-timer Kedar Jadhav (2/22). They landed regular blows before Mashrafe Mortaza scored 25-ball 30 to a 250-plus total.

With this win, defending champions India set up a mouth-watering title clash with Pakistan on Sunday - a team they thrashed earlier in the league stage to kickstart their campaign.

Here we break the match in five:-

India start on front foot but Tamim fights back
Bhuvneshwar fired India to an ideal start when he removed Soumya Sarkar for a duck in the first over of the innings and then deceived Sabbir Rehman with a slower one later on to give Bangladesh early jolts. Both the dismissals were more the batsmen's faults who didn't apply themselves properly. Sarkar dragged one back to be bowled while remaining rooted to the crease and Sabbir, who had shown aggressive intent with four fours to race to 19, ended up cutting a slower one straight to the point fielder. That brought the experienced pair of Tamim and Mushfiqur together and despite being tested early on, the duo went about their business as Kohli shuffled through his bowlers. Bangladesh were aided by some undisciplined bowling from Hardik Pandya who knocked over Tamim with a no-ball and then was hit for a four off the ensuing free-hit. As the grey clouds gathered over the park, Bangladesh went past 100 runs and Tamim carried his form in to the semi-finals logging yet another half-century.

A century stand but Jadhav applies the brakes
If the first 10 overs were all about Indian bowlers, the next 15 belonged to Bangladesh batsmen. Caution led to steady flow of runs which further gave way to regular boundaries. Pandya was taken to the task in his first over, leaking 14 runs. Whenever the bowlers erred in length, a punishment was certain. Like Ashwin who bowled one short allowing Tamim to guide it to third man boundary. However, when the length wasn't there to be hit, shot was manufactured, like Tamim did to Pandya when he stepped out whipping his angled delivery over the midwicket region for the first six of the match. The pressure was building on India and Tamim compounded that with three consecutive fours off Ashwin in the 23rd over. Mushfiqur soon raised his 26th ODI fifty to take Bangladesh to 150 runs in 26.2 overs. Things were pretty much in control for the first-time semi-finalists when Kohli made the killer move. Not content with his regular bowlers, he asked Jadhav to have a go. And with his angular darts, the part-timer built pressure, one dot ball at a time. Finally, Tamim batting on 70, caved in as he went for a slog sweep and missed the ball completely to be bowled. Jadhav's next telling blow came when he dismissed another set batsman in Mushfiqur - caught at midwicket for 61. Before him, Ravindra Jadeja got his first and only scalp of the match when he induced a thick edge from Shakib Al Hasan to be out caught behind. From 150/2, Bangladesh slipped to 179/5. Jadhav was taken off after excellent figures that read 6-0-22-2.

 Mortaza cameo lifts Bangladesh after Bumrah blows

As the Bangladesh innings entered the final 10 overs, the Indians made further inroads with a skilful Japsrit Bumrah first cramping Mosaddek Hossain (15) for an easy return catch and then cleaning up Mahmudullah (21) with a yorker. With just five overs remaining and seven wickets down, a score in excess of 250 looked a distant and difficult prospect. But thanks to skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, whose carefree approach fetched him five fours in an unbeaten 25-ball 30, Bangladesh finished at a respectable but below-par total. Even though Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar kept delivering dot balls, lucky boundaries came through including two successive fours from the bat of Mortaza - the first via an edge and the second a flat-batted shot through mid-off. It wasn't the score that Bangladesh would have hoped for but considering the way they slipped in the middle overs, must've been satisfied.

Rohit, Dhawan lead bright start
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan relish ICC tournaments. Thursday was another proof of that. Chasing a modest target, they provided the perfect launchpad with 87-run stand in 14.4 overs. Dhawan made the first move with punching and cutting Mustafizur Rahman for consecutive fours in the second over. Rohit joined the party, doling out more punishment to Mustafizur with three fours in an over. The short deliveries were expertly pulled and the fuller driven for boundaries on a surface perfect for batting. Dhawan's imperious form was in full display when he struck two fours off Taskin Ahmed - the second of which helped him regain the top spot in the tournament's top run-getters list. He finished the over in style with a six over square leg. He looked set for yet another big score before a top-edge off Mortaza ended the fun at 34-ball 46. Rohit had slowed down when Dhawan took the reins and following his departure, the opener picked up the pace with two successive fours followed by a single off Shakib to complete his fifty.

Yet another Champions Trophy final for India
Rohit struck his first ODI century in 18 months and 11th overall as in the company of Kohli, he led India to an easy win to enter the final. The duo added an unbeaten 178 runs for the second wicket. Rohit played a strokeful innings with 12 fours and a six with which he recorded the milestone. Kohli, on the other hand, was his usual self, picking up boundaries after boundaries to remain unbeaten on 96 off 78. When Kohli reached 88, he became the fastest to 8000 ODI runs, overtaking AB de Villiers to the record. The Bangladeshi bowlers had no answers to the dominant batting display with every bowler barring Mortaza proving expensive.


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