India hold nerve to justify billing as Cup favourites
India 180-5 Bangladesh 155-8 (India win by 25 runs)
Sunday 07 June 2009
Bangladesh held hopes of emulating their 2007 victory over India in the 50-over World Cup but, while they proved again their competitiveness in the shortest form of cricket, they found that the defending champions had too many weapons, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team looked a picture of unity in launching their ICC World Twenty20 campaign with a comfortable victory.
India's total owed its substance to the openers, Guatam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, and to the explosive hitting of Yuvraj Singh, whose 41 off 18 deliveries transformed what had threatened to be a relatively modest score into something that was beyond Bangladesh.
With the ball, it was the emerging left-arm spinner, Pragyan Ojha, who was India's trump card, the 22-year-old marking his international T20 debut with four wickets.
Nonetheless, it was a night from which Bangladesh emerged with their pride intact. Indeed, until Yuvraj, the most destructive force in India's armoury, appeared at 112 for 2 in the 15th over after the title-holders had chosen to bat first, they must have been happy at the state of play.
"I don't think we are behind on skill levels now," the Bangladesh coach, Jamie Siddons, said. "Tonight the difference was probably one over against Yuvraj and one or two silly mistakes or poor decisions."
The over in question was from Naeem Islam, the off-spinner, from which Yuvraj blasted three sixes. It accounted for most of the 25 runs by which Bangladesh ultimately lost.
Rohit and Gambhir had reached 51 off only 32 deliveries and it seemed the injured Virender Sehwag would not be missed. But Shakib al Hasan, the left-armer, removed Rohit and India's progress slowed. Between the sixth over and the 16th, India advanced by only 67 runs. Gambhir, dropped on 13, reached his half-century but it was a relatively laboured effort.
But, much as the huge Indian section of a near 17,000-crowd were disappointed when Islam bowled Dhoni, they were more than compensated by Yuvraj, who helped to swell the total by 59 in the last four overs.
Bangladesh began their pursuit by threatening an upset. Tamim Iqbal took 10 off Zaheer Khan's opening over and Junaid Siddique welcomed Irfan to the attack by crashing him over midwicket for six.
But one by one, they Bangladeshis lost their wickets spectacularly. Tamim was stumped, charging Yusuf Pathan, the off-spinner; Junaid, after 41 off 22 balls, slog-swept to deep midwicket.
Most of the damage was done by Ojha, whose experience playing league cricket in Huddersfield helped him cope with a chilly night. He struck with his first ball when Shakib al-Hasan top edged a pull and, crucially, with his fifth, as Junaid fell.
Thereafter, Bangladesh's scoring dried up. Ojha claimed his third wicket courtesy of a fine, diving catch by Yuvraj at short fine leg as Mahmudullah perished, and another when Mashrafe Mortaza was bowled, finishing with 4-21.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him' - Harry Redknapp
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing