Cricket World Cup 2015: India batter Bangladesh to maintain fine form

India 302-6 Bangladesh 193

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The Independent Online

India, growing in confidence with every match, thrashed Bangladesh by 109 runs here to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.

The defending world champions outclassed their neighbours to stretch their unbeaten run at the tournament to seven games. India will now face either Australia or Pakistan (who played overnight) in the semi-finals in Sydney next week and, on current form, they will be hard to beat.

Batting first, India compiled a daunting total of 302 for 6, built on the back of a magnificent century from Rohit Sharma, who completed his first World Cup hundred with a slice of luck. One of the most dangerous batsmen in the world, his return to form could not have come at a better time for an Indian team who struggled in the lead-up to the World Cup but is rapidly gaining momentum.

 

Rohit was caught in the deep when he was on 90 but was given a second life when the umpires ruled that Rubel Hossain’s delivery was above waist-height and therefore a no-ball, although television replays suggested otherwise.

Rohit’s 137 off 126 balls was peppered with 14 fours and three sixes, while Suresh Raina chipped in a with a quick-fire 65 after India had somewhat plodded along to 115 for 3 and the innings needed a lift.

Bangladesh, appearing in their first World Cup quarter-final, kept the Indian batsmen in check through the first 35 overs, stalling their run rate with their spin bowlers. But they dropped their heads after Rohit was given his reprieve and gave up 147 runs off the last 15 overs, leaving themselves a near impossible run chase at one of cricket’s biggest and most intimidating cauldrons.

Bangladesh are one of the most improved sides in cricket. They beat England to make the quarter-finals but found India too hot.

Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes came out all guns blazing, smacking 31 off the first six overs, but when they fell in successive balls in the next over the run chase was doomed. Bangladesh’s frustrations were compounded by India’s excellent fielding, once one of their weakest points but now one of their strongest.

India have bowled out their opponents in all seven matches they have played at the World Cup, another ominous warning for their remaining challengers.

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