|Scorecard:||Bangladesh v India|
|Player:||Naeem Islam, Junaid Siddique, Shakib Al Hasan, PP Ojha, RG Sharma, G Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
Someone told Bangladesh that they would have to hit out to achieve the daunting target of 181 against India, which was fair enough. What they forgot was that they cannot hit everyone and everything out of the ground. They began in whirlwind fashion, but tried to be a way too aggressive and paid the price, going down by 25 runs.
Pragyan Ojha capilatised on this over-enthusiasm, and his controlled left-arm spin got him four wickets as all the batsmen went after him and few succeeded, giving him a four-wicket haul and ending Bangladeshs assault.
Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique began by blasting away at everything from Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan, Siddique belting the very first ball he received for six, but the aggression was frequently over the top.
Seeing that the two left-handers were hammering the rather unconvincing looking Zaheer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted for the slower stuff, bringing on Yusuf Pathan and immediately Tamim came dancing down to be stumped by a mile.
No one in the Bangla camp had any ambitions of playing a pacing innings and all comers went after the bowling like there was no tomorrow. Junaid ultimately was the biggest beneficiary of this aggression, returning with a score of 41 off 22 balls, with three sixes and two fours.
But apart from that, all the rest came and went, most notably skipper Mohammad Ashraful, who continues to flatter and deceive. Naeem Islam used the long handle well towards the end, but that may just be enough to get him a promotion up the order.
The slow stuff and regular wickets ensured that Bangladesh, for all their aggression, could never really catch up with the Indian total, and as the asking rate kept rising, they continued to attack and perish, and finally concede a rather amateurish defeat.
The Indian innings was a bit of the mystery, in terms of the batting order. Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir started as projected and got off to a fairly rollicking start, especially Sharma, who waded into the bowling right from the beginning. Gambhir however, was a less effective and seemed to struggle a bit with his timing.
But there was still enough momentum in the innings when Sharma was flummoxed by a faster, flatter delivery by left-arm spinner Shakib al Hasan, having escaped being stumped off the previous delivery.
That brought in Dhoni, which was a bit of a surprise. The skipper has off late adopted a slow approach, which may be a good idea when chasing a total, but with Suresh Raina having shown sensational form in the Indian Premier League, one would have thought the left-hander would be coming in at No. 3.
But Dhoni it was, and he opted for singles more than big shots. Also needs to be mentioned that the Bangladesh spinners, especially Shakib, were up to the task of slowing the run rate down, bowling straight and offering little pace.
Off-spinner Naeem was also effective in his first two overs and picked up Dhoni, who left with India threatening to fall well short of a fighting total, the total reading 112/2 off 14.3 overs.
That was when Yuvraj Singh came in and it was totally thanks to him that India had 181 runs to defend. The big man ended Naeems domination, blasting three sixes off four balls as the over went for 19 runs, and then took on fast bowler Rubel Hossain. By the time he left, India were looking much more comfortable, his 41 runs coming off just 18 deliveries with four sixes and three fours.
It was the left-handers who did most of the damage for India. Gambhir scored a sedate half-century, Yuvraj blasted the bowling, Raina, coming in at No. 5, kept the momentum up and Irfan Pathan got 11 runs off the last three balls of the innings to get India on solid ground.