CARDIFF: India bounced back from a disappointing outing in their previous warm-up game with a 95-run victory over Bangladesh in Cardiff.
KL Rahul hit a fluent 108 from No.4, before a destructive MS Dhoni smashed a 78-ball 113, which contained seven sixes. India posted 359/7 on Tuesday, 28 May, in their final outing before the main tournament.
Bangladesh were only able to put up 264 in reply, as Virat Kohli’s young spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav (3/47) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/55) made light of the opposition middle order.
A brilliant 120-run stand stand between Liton Das (73) and Mushfiqur Rahim (90) did offer hope for Bangladesh, but once that partnership was broken, the floodgates opened, Mashrafe Mortaza’s men losing wickets at regular intervals.
Bangladesh asked India to bat and made early inroads. Unperturbed by the three early wickets, Rahul accumulated splendidly, his century coming from 94 balls; a timely reminder to India selectors that the No.4 spot could well be his come tournament-time.
Dhoni was more brutal in his approach, bludgeoning a straight six out of the stadium to reach three figures from just 73 balls. He and Rahul shared a stand of 164 for the fifth wicket, propelling their side into a position of real authority. India accelerated astutely, eventually posting 359/7, thanks in part to a late cameo from Hardik Pandya (21 from 11).
Bangladesh’s reply began solidly, Das and Soumya Sarkar rotating well to reach 49 with no loss, before two wickets in as many balls from Jasprit Bumrah (2/25) turned the screw. Sarkar (25) was caught behind and Shakib Al Hasan (0) was pinned and bowled by a supreme yorker on his first ball.
From thereon, Mushifiqur and Das batted admirably to drag their side back into contention, but India’s spinners were brought on to great effect. Chahal broke the partnership with the wicket of Das, and dismissed Mohammad Mithun (0) the next delivery before Kuldeep cleaned up the middle order.
Mahmudullah (9), Mosaddek Hossain (0) and Mushfiqur all fell to the left-arm spinner in quick succession.
For Bangladesh, however, the performances of Mushfiqur and Das offered plenty in terms of encouragement for their imminent Cricket World Cup campaign.